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The eating culture of the Sundanese: Does the traditional salad (Lalapan) improve vegetable intake and blood β-carotene concentration?
This study explores how consumption of the traditional salad Lalapan, central to the eating culture of the Sundanese, is associated with skin quality perception, daily β-carotene intake and blood β-carotene concentrations. This cross-sectional study was conducted in Gunung Malang Village and Leuweung Kolot Village, Bogor District, West Java. 60 healthy Sundanese women, aged 30-49 years, were selected using simple random sampling. Their body weight and height were measured, and they were interviewed about the eating culture of Lalapan, skin quality perceptions after consumption of Lalapan, and consumption habits of Lalapan using a semi-quantitative month-long food frequency questionnaire (SQ-FFQ). The blood β-carotene concentrations of about 25% of the subjects were analysed and Chi-square used to evaluate the association between variables. The results show that about 60% and 51.7% subjects had a good eating culture of Lalapan and good skin quality perceptions respectively. The eating culture of Lalapan had a positive association with skin quality perception (p=0.000), β-carotene intake from Lalapan (p=0.008), daily β-carotene intake (p=0.035), and blood β-carotene concentrations (p=0.031). The consumption of Lalapan is a wisdom culture in Sundanese society that serves to improve vegetable consumption at the community level. In particular, it increases nutrient intake, especially β-carotene that is beneficial to health. Given that vegetable consumption is low in the community, maintenance of the good eating culture of Lalapan should be an urgent policy priority to ensure the nutrition and health of the community.