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Br J Nutr. 2015 Jan 14;113(1):181-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514002621. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Socio-economic dietary inequalities in UK adults: an updated picture of key food groups and nutrients from national surveillance data.

Author information

1
MRC Epidemiology Unit,UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Institute of Metabolic Science,Box 285, Cambridge Biomedical Campus,CambridgeCB2 0QQ,UK.

Abstract

Socio-economic differences in diet are a potential contributor to health inequalities. The present study provides an up-to-date picture of socio-economic differences in diet in the UK, focusing on the consumption of three food groups and two nutrients of public health concern: fruit and vegetables; red and processed meat; oily fish; saturated fats; non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES). We analysed data for 1491 adults (age ≥ 19 years) from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2008-2011. Socio-economic indicators were household income, occupational social class and highest educational qualification. Covariate-adjusted estimates for intakes of fruit and vegetables, red and processed meat, and both nutrients were estimated using general linear models. Covariate-adjusted OR for oily fish consumption were derived with logistic regression models. We observed consistent socio-economic gradients in the consumption of the three food groups as estimated by all the three indicators. Contrasting highest and lowest levels of each socio-economic indicator, we observed significant differences in intakes for the three food groups and NMES. Depending on the socio-economic indicator, highest socio-economic groups consumed up to 128 g/d more fruit and vegetables, 26 g/d less red and processed meat, and 2·6% points less NMES (P< 0·05 for all). Relative to lowest socio-economic groups, highest socio-economic groups were 2·4 to 4·0 times more likely to eat oily fish. No significant patterns in saturated fat consumption were apparent. In conclusion, socio-economic differences were identified in the consumption of food groups and one nutrient of public health importance. Aligning dietary intakes with public health guidance may require interventions specifically designed to reduce health inequalities.

KEYWORDS:

Diet; General linear models; Inequalities; National Diet and Nutrition Survey; Socio-economic differences

PMID:
25399952
PMCID:
PMC4351901
DOI:
10.1017/S0007114514002621
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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