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Soc Sci Med. 2013 Sep;92:22-6. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.05.012. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Socioeconomic differences in purchases of more vs. less healthy foods and beverages: analysis of over 25,000 British households in 2010.

Author information

1
Behaviour and Health Research Unit, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 0SR, UK.

Abstract

Socioeconomic inequalities in diet-related health outcomes are well-recognised, but are not fully explained by observational studies of consumption. We provide a novel analysis to identify purchasing patterns more precisely, based on data for take-home food and beverage purchases from 25,674 British households in 2010. To examine socioeconomic differences (measured by occupation), we conducted regression analyses on the proportion of energy purchased from (a) each of 43 food or beverage categories and (b) major nutrients. Results showed numerous small category-level socioeconomic differences. Aggregation of the categories showed lower SES groups generally purchased a greater proportion of energy from less healthy foods and beverages than those in higher SES groups (65% and 60%, respectively), while higher SES groups purchased a greater proportion of energy from healthier food and beverages (28% vs. 24%). At the nutrient-level, socioeconomic differences were less marked, although higher SES was associated with purchasing greater proportions of fibre, protein and total sugars, and smaller proportions of sodium. The observed pattern of purchasing across SES groups contributes to the explanation of observed health differences between groups and highlights targets for interventions to reduce health inequalities.

KEYWORDS:

Attitudes; Britain; Diet; Health inequalities; Purchasing; Scanner data; Socioeconomic status

PMID:
23849275
PMCID:
PMC3726935
DOI:
10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.05.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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