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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1991 Sep;45(9):441-50.

Diet and other life-style factors in high and low socio-economic groups (Dutch Nutrition Surveillance System).

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Department of Human Nutrition, TNO Toxicology and Nutrition Institute, Zeist, Netherlands.


Insight into the occurrence of and the association between certain socio-economic variables and life-style characteristics is necessary for preventive nutrition and health policy. The prevalence of and the interdependencies among these variables were examined in 1930 men and 2204 women aged 19 to 85 who participated in the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 1987-1988. Dietary data were based on a two-day record. The associations among discrete variables were analysed using log-linear models. Analysis of covariance was used to explore the effects of the aggregate socio-economic status (SES) on dietary intake and anthropometry, whereas differences in food intake and SES were assessed by the non-parametric test of Kruskal and Wallis. In comparison to subjects with a high SES in people with a low SES a higher proportion of smokers (48 vs 32 per cent) was observed, a higher prevalence of obesity (39 vs 28 per cent), a higher percentage of heavy coffee drinkers (greater than six cups per day, 23 vs 17 per cent), and more subjects who skipped breakfast (19 vs 11 per cent). In the highest SES class more subjects used nutritional supplements (18 vs 11 per cent), more subjects followed a dietary rule (five vs two per cent), such as a vegetarian diet, and a higher proportion used more than three alcoholic drinks per day (19 vs 15 per cent). A higher SES was associated with a lower fat intake, but the differences (expressed as per cent of energy intake) were rather small and even absent among women when the contribution of alcohol to energy was not taken into account. In general, dietary intake among subjects in higher SES groups tended to be closer to dietary recommendations. The results indicate that a lower SES is accompanied by a higher prevalence of several indicators of an unhealthy life-style.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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