Cross-Sectional Analysis of Expenditure on Fruits and Vegetables: A Comparison Between Low-Income and High-Income Households

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Yong Kang Cheah
Tin Tin Su
Azira Abdul Adzis


The present study is the first to our knowledge to use quantile regressions
to explore the effects of sociodemographic and household factors on consumption
expenditure on fruits and vegetables (FV) among households of different income groups.
Data from the Malaysian Household Expenditure Surveys 2014 and 2016 were used for
pooled cross-sectional analyses. Quantile regressions were utilised to examine factors
affecting household expenditure on FV at different ranges of the expenditure. Results
showed that low-, medium- and high-income households headed by younger adults (<
60 years), females, less-educated individuals, Bumiputera and unemployed individuals
spent less on FV compared with those headed by older adults (≥ 60 years), males, welleducated individuals, non-Bumiputera and employed individuals. Furthermore, there
were positive relationships between quantiles of FV expenditure and household income,
rural households, tobacco consumption, and health insurance spending. In conclusion,
household heads’ sociodemographic characteristics and household profiles play an
important role in influencing household expenditure on FV. Findings obtained in the
present study can assist policymakers in formulating better intervention measures and
assistance directed toward improving FV intake. Policymakers could consider subsidising
FV purchases and promoting FV consumption among female-headed households.
Additionally, health awareness programmes could target urban households with single
and less-educated heads.


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