Dietary intakes of adults in the Netherlands by childhood and adulthood socioeconomic position

K. Giskes*, F.J. van Lenthe, J. Brug, J. Mackenbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dietary intakes of adults in the Netherlands by childhood and adulthood socioeconomic position.

Giskes K, Lenthe Fv F, Brug HJ, Mackenbach J.

Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there are socioeconomic differences in the intakes of total fat, fatty acids and fruit among adults in the Netherlands using childhood (parental) and participant's own socioeconomic position (SEP). Furthermore, to quantify the independent effects of childhood and adulthood SEP on dietary behavior in adulthood. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study among participants in the GLOBE study. SUBJECTS: A total of 2512 men and women, aged 25-78 y, living in a region in the southeast Netherlands. METHODS: Dietary intakes were collected by an interviewer-administered quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Average daily intakes of total energy, total, saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fat and fruit were calculated. The highest educational level was used to classify the participant's adulthood SEP. Parental indicators (mother's education and father's occupation when participants were 12 y of age) were used to classify childhood SEP. RESULTS: Males with lower levels of education had moderately higher energy intakes than their more educated counterparts, but did not differ in their intakes of total fat, fatty acids and fruit. Among females, the least educated groups had marginally higher intakes of total and monounsaturated fat than the most educated group, and were less likely to consume fruit. For most of these significant differences, the participant's own education demonstrated independent effects that were consistent with chronic disease inequalities. A small residual effect of mother's education was also demonstrated for intakes of some nutrients for males and females, and for fruit consumption among females. However, the effect size of mother's education was rather small and not always consistent with disease inequalities. CONCLUSIONS: The results imply that socioeconomic disparities in intakes of some dietary factors may contribute to inequalities in chronic disease. Adulthood SEP potentially has a more direct influence on dietary intake inequalities than childhood SEP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-880
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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