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Scand J Soc Med. 1995 Jun;23(2):88-94.

Diet of Finnish children in relation to the family's socio-economic status.

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  • 1Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, University of Helsinki.


The differences between higher and lower socio-economic groups in food consumption, energy intake and nutrient density of the diet of Finnish 9- to 15-year-old children were examined in a study performed within the project entitled Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns. Data on food consumption were collected using the 48-hour recall method. Family's socio-economic status was defined according to the father's educational level, his occupation, and family income. Children of families with higher socio-economic status used more fruit, low-fat milk, soft vegetable margarine and less high-fat milk, butter, rye products and coffee than did the children of families with lower socioeconomic status. Consequently, the main differences appeared in the fat, vitamin D, vitamin C and fatty acid content of the diet. Differences in energy intake and in mineral density of the diet were minor. If these childhood dietary differences remain in adulthood, it is possible that the present disparity between socio-economic groups in mortality from coronary heart disease will not disappear.

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