International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 63, Issue 9, pp 1059–1069 | Cite as

Adequate and excessive food consumption in Suriname: a multiethnic middle-income country

  • Lenny M. W. Nahar-van VenrooijEmail author
  • Esha Marhe
  • Christel Antonius-Smits
  • Ingrid S. Krishnadath
Original Article



To explore food consumption among different sex, age, ethnic, urban, education and income groups in Suriname.


Data from a cross-sectional population study (n = 5748; 15–64 year) were used. Food consumption was defined adequate if (1) fruit and vegetable intake was conformable to WHO recommendations, (2) mostly vegetable oil was used, and (3) whole-wheat products were used ≥ 3 days/week. Food consumption was defined excessive if 3 out of the following 5 items scored positive: consumption of (1) snack, (2) sweet, (3) fast food, or (4) soft drink ≥ 3 days/week, or (5) salt was always added while preparing a hot meal.


6.4% (95% CI 5.8–7.1) had an adequate and 21.9% (95% CI 20.9–23.0) an excessive food consumption pattern, with differences among ethnic groups (p < 0.05). Adequate consumption increased, while excessive consumption decreased with increasing age (p < 0.05). Both adequate and excessive consumption increased with higher degree of urbanization, level of education and income (p < 0.05). Except for level of education for adequate consumption, all characteristics remained in both models with adequate and excessive consumption as outcome (p < 0.09).


Our study suggests interventions to promote adequate food consumption in general and to limit excessive food consumption mainly focused on youngsters and those living in urbanized areas of higher socioeconomic status.


Food consumption Fruit and vegetable intake Ethnicity Urbanization Middle-income country Suriname Health Study 



This study was conducted by the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Anton de Kom University of Suriname in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). We acknowledge the participation of all the respondents and the support of all the personnel in this study.

Author’s contribution

LNV conducted statistical analysis, reviewed the data and results and wrote the manuscript. IK and others designed and coordinated the Suriname Health Study with assistance of CAS and EM. In specific, EM participated at the diet working group designing the diet module of the Suriname Health Study protocol. IK, CAS and EM collaborated with the interpretation of data, reviewed and edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical statement

This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki, and all procedures involving human subjects were approved by the Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Health of Suriname (Commissie mensgebonden wetenschappelijk onderzoek, VG 004-2013). All subjects gave their informed consent in writing.

Supplementary material

38_2018_1148_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lenny M. W. Nahar-van Venrooij
    • 1
    Email author
  • Esha Marhe
    • 2
  • Christel Antonius-Smits
    • 1
  • Ingrid S. Krishnadath
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medical SciencesAnton de Kom University SurinameParamariboSuriname
  2. 2.PAHO/WHO SurinameParamariboSuriname

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