Sociodemographic and economic characteristics associated with dairy intake vary across genders

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Abstract Background: 

Recommendations promote a diversified and optimal but not excessive consumption of dairy products. Their efficiency may depend on sociodemographic and economic factors, for which little information is available. Links between these factors and dairy intake were investigated in a large sample of French adults. Methods: 

Dietary intakes were assessed using at least six 24-h dietary records collected during a 2-year period from 4574 adults aged 45–60 years. The cost of each food item was estimated from national data. Sociodemographic and economic characteristics were assessed by self-administered questionnaires. Compliance with the current dairy recommendation, distribution of the dairy budget and calcium inadequacy were compared by logistic regression and covariance analyses. Results: 

Thirty-five percent of subjects complied with the three-per-day dairy recommendation, with more men than women exceeding this (36.2% versus 26.5%, P < 0.0001). The proportion of the dairy budget spent on milk increased with age in men (P = 0.002); in women, it was inversely associated with occupational category (P = 0.009) and residence in an urban area (P = 0.0001). The proportion of this budget spent on cheese increased with education level in women (P = 0.04) and decreased with age in men (P = 0.03). In men, the consumption of cream desserts decreased with age (P = 0.006) and education level (P = 0.002). Dietary calcium inadequacy was more prevalent in women than in men (32.7% versus 14.2%, P < 0.0001). Among women, this prevalence was higher in older subjects (P < 0.0001) and those who lived alone (P = 0.005). Conclusions: 

Although compliance with dairy recommendation needs to be improved, sociodemographic and economic factors should be taken into account to improve the efficiency of targeted public health messages.

Keywords: calcium intake; dairy products; middle-aged adults; post-hoc analysis; sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: UREN (Unité de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle), UMR U557 Inserm/U1125 Inra/Cnam, Paris 13, CRNH IdF, SMBH Paris 13, Bobigny, France 2: USEN (Unité de Surveillance et d’Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle), Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Université Paris 13, Bobigny, France

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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