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Soc Sci Med. 1998 Jun;46(12):1519-29.

Gender, socioeconomic status and family status as determinants of food behaviour.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.


This study examines social structural and family status factors as determinants of food behaviour. The data were derived from the FINMONICA Risk Factor Survey, collected in Finland in spring 1992. A multidimensional framework of the determinants of food behaviour was used, including social structural position, family status and gender. The associations between the determinants of food behaviour were estimated by multivariate logistic regression models, adjusted for age and regional differences. Food behaviour was measured by an index including six food items which were chosen based on Finnish dietary guidelines. In general, women's food behaviour was more in accordance with the dietary guidelines than that of men. The pattern of association between educational level and food behaviour was similar for both genders, but slightly stronger for men than women. Employment status was associated only with women's food behaviour, but the tendency was the same for men. Marital status was associated with men's as well as women's food behaviour. The food behaviour of married men and women was more in line with the dietary guidelines than the food behaviour of those who had been previously married. Parental status, however, was only associated with women's food behaviour, that is, the food behaviour of women with young children was more closely in line with the dietary guidelines than that of the rest of the women.

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