Fewer Healthy Foods in Youth From Lower SEP
The study involved 574 children of 3 to 10 years and 881 adolescents of 11 to 17 years. 7-day food record and SEP data (socio-economic position like occupation, education, income or household wealth) used to evaluate the link between dietary intake and socio-economic category. Data for children and for adolescents were analyzed separately. The results showed that several healthy foods or food groups are less consumed in both children and adolescents from lower SEP, compared to youth of SEP: it’s the case for fruits, vegetables and yogurt.
A Need for Customized Messages Towards Specific SEP Populations
Other results indicate an association between a lower SEP and higher intake of starchy foods, meat, milk, sugar-sweetened beverages and pizza/sandwiches in children. Similar results were observed in adolescents for fruit and vegetables, yogurts and sugar-sweetened beverages. Adolescents also had lower intakes of cakes/pastries and higher intakes of processed meat and dairy desserts. Neither energy nor protein intake was associated with SEP. Adolescents from a lower SEP had higher carbohydrates and lower lipid intakes. Social disparity trough SEP indicators were therefore more clearly pronounced in terms of food choices than in terms of energy or macronutrient intakes.
In present study the strong associations observed between the families educational level and dietary choice. The author emphasizes the need for customized messages to help poorly educated families adopting good eating habits.
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