Socioeconomic Differences in Food Consumption

The socio-economic status of a household can affect the members' diet in a number of ways. In general, those with higher incomes tend to spend a smaller proportion of that income purchasing food, although they may spend a larger absolute amount than those with lower incomes. Second, the kinds of foods that wealthier people buy will be different in quality (less contamination and better processed or packaged) and in nutrient density (e.g., see Table 4). Wealthier people are generally 'less efficient'

Table 3 Body mass index (BMI), children's nutritional status, and morbidity

Variable Cluster 1 (n = 178) Cluster 2 (n = 190) Cluster 3 (n = 124) Cluster 4 (n = 67) pa

Self-employed Dependent Casual unskilled, Casual skilled self-employed female head

BMI, mean (SE) 19.1(2.5) 18.8(2.0) 16.3(0.5) 26.1(3.3) <0.0001

WAZ, mean (SE) -3.25 (3.8) -3.58 (4.1) -5.21 (5.2) -3.20 (3.7) <0.0001

HAZ, mean (SE) -2.30(1.4) -2.10(2.3) -3.18(3.2) -2.25(1.6) <0.0001

WHZ, mean (SE) -2.19(4.5) -2.30(5.5) -3.25(4.9) -2.20(3.4) <0.0001 Days off ill

With fever, mean (SE) 1.50 (0.51) 1.82 (0.07) 1.88 (0.08) 1.90 (0.02) <0.015

With diarrhea, mean (SE) 3.50(1.02) 3.17(0.48) 7.00(3.61) 6.50(1.50) <0.010

Probability that differences between groups arose by chance.

WAZ, weight-for-age z score; HAZ, height-for-age z score; WHZ, weight-for-height z score. Data from National Center for Health Statistics.

Table 4 British men and women: Mean daily intake of energy and nutrients (7-day weighed intake) by socio-economic status3

Women, benefit Women, no benefit Men, benefit Men, no benefit receipt (n = 150) receipt (n = 741) receipt (n = 110) receipt (n = 723)

Table 4 British men and women: Mean daily intake of energy and nutrients (7-day weighed intake) by socio-economic status3

Women, benefit Women, no benefit Men, benefit Men, no benefit receipt (n = 150) receipt (n = 741) receipt (n = 110) receipt (n = 723)

Energy (MJ)

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