Socioeconomic dietary inequalities in UK adults: an updated picture of key food groups and nutrients from national surveillance data
British Journal of Nutrition
Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Nutrition Society
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Maguire, E., & Monsivais, P. (2014). Socioeconomic dietary inequalities in UK adults: an updated picture of key food groups and nutrients from national surveillance data. British Journal of Nutrition, 113 181-189. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114514002621
Socioeconomic differences in diet are a potential contributor to health inequalities. The present study provides an up-to-date picture of socioeconomic 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 (SFA) and non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES). We analysed data for 1491 adults (≥19 years) from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2008-2011. Socioeconomic 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 with general linear models. Covariate-adjusted odds ratios for oily fish consumption were derived with logistic regressions. We observed consistent socioeconomic gradients in the consumption of the three food groups by all three indicators. Contrasting highest and lowest levels of each socioeconomic indicator, we observed significant differences in intakes for the three food groups and NMES. Depending on the socioeconomic indicator, highest socioeconomic groups consumed up to 128 grams/day more fruit and vegetables, 26 grams/day less red and processed meat, and 2.6 percentage points less NMES (P<0.05 for all). Relative to lowest socioeconomic groups, highest socioeconomic groups were 2.4–4.0 times more likely to eat oily fish. No significant patterns in SFA consumption were apparent. In conclusion, socioeconomic differences were identified in food groups and one nutrient of public health importance. Aligning dietary intakes with public health guidance may require interventions specifically designed to reduce inequalities.
Funding from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged.
Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114514002621
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/246253
Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/
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