Document Type : Research Article
Background: while vitamin D deficiency is acknowledged as a leading dietary health problem in most Arab countries, limited information exists on the perceptions and practices of adult men and women towards this condition.
Methods: A sample of subjects age 18 years and older was obtained using a cross-sectional study design. A previously tested self-administered questionnaire was employed to obtain data from participants on their socio-demographic characteristics, perceptions and practices towards vitamin D health related items. Both univariate and multivariate analysis were performed in order to identify the independent factors.
Results: A total number of 335 subjects were included in the sample. The mean age of the participants was 32.6±11.5 years and females comprised 67.8% of the sample. The practice of consuming food items rich in vitamin D was significantly higher among those subjects with higher levels of education (p value = 0.04). In addition, the consumption of vitamin D fortified food items was significantly higher among females compared to males (OR = 2.70; 95% CI 1.34 to 5.43). The eagerness of the participants to have undergone a vitamin D blood testing in the past was significantly related to their level of education. Further, such a decision to take the test has had a significant impact on their current practice to consume daily vitamin D supplements (OR = 131.82; 95% CI 56.92 to 305.28).
Conclusion: In view of the apparent consumers unfavorable perceptions towards the intake of vitamin D fortified food items, consumption of vitamin D supplements and need for vitamin D testing, effective strategies are urgently required to improve public practices towards vitamin D.