Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.48(2) > 1081386

Baek, Joung, and Shin: The association between vegetable intake and marital status in Korean adults aged 30 years and over: based on the 2007~2010 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey



The aim of this study was to examine associations between marital status and vegetable intake.


Data were from participants 30 years and over (n = 18,190) in the 2007~2010 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Marital status was divided into three groups: married, never married, and separated/divorced/widowed. Vegetable intake was estimated from the twenty-four hour dietary recall. Data were analyzed using a chi-square test, analysis of covariance, least squares means, and logistic regression.


Married respondents tend to consume more vegetables, including kimchi, than all other marital status groups. Vegetable intake, excluding kimchi, was lowest among 30~64 year-old respondents who had never married. Elderly men (65 years and older) who were never married/separated/divorced/widowed had significantly lower vegetable intake than elderly men who were married (p = 0.0008). When considering the Korean dietary reference intake (KDRIs), elderly men who were never married/separated/divorced/widowed, compared with elderly men who were married, had a significantly higher odds ratio for consuming fewer vegetables than the KDRIs (OR = 1.64, 95% CI: 1.13~2.37).


The findings of this study indicate that marital status might influence vegetable intake and the probability of consuming fewer vegetables than the KDRIs. In particular, being never married/separated/divorced/widowed might adversely affect vegetable consumption among elderly men, although assessing the causal effect of marital status from this cross-sectional study is difficult.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

Least-squares means of vegetable intake by sex and age group, according to marital status*

Abbreviations: Spe, Seperated; Div, Divorced; Wid, Widowed
≥ 65 y: comparison between married and never married/sep/div/wid
*Adjusted for household income, education, occupation, BMI, smoking status, subjective health status, energy intake, and household income* occupation
*p value < 0.05
Table 1

Characteristics of the survey respondents by marital status


The column "n" presents real sample values and the column "%" values expanded to the Korean population.

Abbreviations: Spe, Seperated; Div, Divorced; Wid, Widowed; BMI, Body mass index; KDRIs, Korean dietary reference intakes

1) by chi-square test

Table 2

Odds ratios(95% CI) from adjusted logistic regression models for less consumption of vegetable than the KDRIs1) by sex and age group, according to marital status


Abbreviations: KDRIs, Korean dietary reference intakes; Spe, Seperated; Div, Divorced; Wid, Widowed; OR, Odds ratios; CI, Confidence interval

1) KDRIs: 7 servings for 19-64 year-old men, women and ≥ 65-year-old men; 5 servings for ≥ 65-year-old women 2) Adjusted for household income, education, occupation, BMI, smoking status, subjective health status, energy intake, and occupation 3) ≥ 65 y: comparison between married and never married/sep/div/wid


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