Various socioeconomic and geographic variables associated with poor diet quality
According to new findings, several individual-level socioeconomic and geographic variables were independently associated with poor diet quality among a large, diverse cohort in the United States.
Data shows that poor diet quality was found among younger participants, Native American or Alaska Native or Black, who had lower income, lower education, lived in a rural area and lived in a food desert.
“These recommendations and others underscore the need to examine the social, economic and environmental contexts that can shape our dietary habits and lifestyles, which are also at the root of existing health disparities in the United States. wrote study author Marjorie L. McCullough, ScD, RD, Department of Population Sciences, American Cancer Society.
McCullough and colleagues noted that a better understanding of how social, economic, and environmental factors affect diet quality can be beneficial for addressing health disparities and advancing health equity.
The current study aimed to identify socioeconomic and geographic factors associated with lower quality diets in the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study-3, a large prospective cohort of adults in the United States. Nearly 300,000 adults between the ages of 30 and 65 without a history of cancer in 35 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were identified between 2006 and 2013.
They had to complete a validated food frequency questionnaire between 2015 and 2017, while the data was analyzed from February to November 2021. The main exposures consisted of self-reported race and ethnicity, education and household income. housework. They used the US Department of Agriculture Food Access Research Atlas database classified residence in a food desert.
The study included a final analytical cohort of 155,331 adults with a mean age of 52 years and 123,115 (79.3%) women. The cohort consisted of 1,408 American Indians or Alaska Natives (0.9%); 2,721 Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander individuals (1.8%); 3829 black individuals (2.5%); 7,967 Hispanic individuals (5.1%); and 138,166 whites (88.9%).
All key exposures were statistically significantly associated with poor overall diet quality, the researchers found. Compared to white participants, black participants had a 16% higher risk (95% CI, 8% – 25%) of poor diet quality, while Hispanics/Latinos had a 16% lower risk. % (95% CI, 12% – 21%). and Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander participants had a 33% lower risk (95% CI, 26%-40%) of having a poor quality diet.
After controlling for other characteristics, the data show that rural residence was associated with a 61% higher risk (95% CI, 48% – 75%) of poor diet quality, and that living in a desert dietary was associated with a 17% (95% CI, 12 – 22%) higher risk.
They found that higher income and education were inversely and independently associated with the risk of poor diet quality and varied by race and ethnicity (income: P for interaction = 0.01; education: P for interaction <.001>
McCullough noted that more research is needed to understand the social constructs driving diet quality and potential barriers to eating healthier foods in people with poor diet quality.
These factors could be targeted to improve messaging, behavioral interventions, programs and policies so that everyone has an equal opportunity to eat healthy,” McCullough concluded.
The study, “Association of Socioeconomic and Geographical Factors with Diet Quality in American Adultswas published in Open JAMA Network.