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Socioeconomic differences in takeaway food consumption among adults

Miura, Kyoko (2012) Socioeconomic differences in takeaway food consumption among adults. PhD by Publication, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Background In Australia and other developed countries, there are consistent and marked socioeconomic inequalities in health. Diet is a major contributing factor to the poorer health of lower socioeconomic groups: the dietary patterns of disadvantaged groups are least consistent with dietary recommendations for the prevention of diet-related chronic diseases compared with their more advantaged counterparts.

Part of the reason that lower socioeconomic groups have poorer diets may be their consumption of takeaway foods. These foods typically have nutrient contents that fail to comply with the dietary recommendations for the prevention of chronic disease and associated risk factors. A high level of takeaway food consumption, therefore, may negatively influence overall dietary intakes and, consequently, lead to adverse health outcomes. Despite this, little attention has focused on the association between socioeconomic position (SEP) and takeaway food consumption, with the limited number of studies showing mixed results. Additionally, studies have been limited by only considering a narrow range of takeaway foods and not examining how different socioeconomic groups make choices that are more (or less) consistent with dietary recommendations. While a large number of earlier studies have consistently reported socioeconomically disadvantaged groups consume a lesser amount of fruit and vegetables, there is limited knowledge about the role of takeaway food in socioeconomic variations in fruit and vegetable intake. Furthermore, no known studies have investigated why there are socioeconomic differences in takeaway food consumption.

The aims of this study are to: examine takeaway food consumption and the types of takeaway food consumed (healthy and less healthy) by different socioeconomic groups, to determine whether takeaway food consumption patterns explain socioeconomic variations in fruit and vegetable intake, and investigate the role of a range of psychosocial factors in explaining the association between SEP and takeaway food consumption and the choice of takeaway food. Methods This study used two cross-sectional population-based datasets: 1) the 1995 Australian National Nutrition Survey (NNS) which was conducted among a nationally representative sample of adults aged between 25.64 years (N = 7319, 61% response rate); and 2) the Food and Lifestyle Survey (FLS) which was conducted by the candidate and was undertaken among randomly selected adults aged between 25.64 years residing in Brisbane, Australia in 2009 (N = 903, 64% response rate). The FLS extended the NNS in several ways by describing current socioeconomic differences in takeaway food consumption patterns, formally assessing the mediated effect of takeaway food consumption to socioeconomic inequalities in fruit and vegetable intake, and also investigating whether (and which) psychosocial factors contributed to the observed socioeconomic variations in takeaway food consumption patterns.

Results Approximately 32% of the NNS participants consumed takeaway food in the previous 24 hours and 38% of the FLS participants reported consuming takeaway food once a week or more. The results from analyses of the NNS and the FLS were somewhat mixed; however, disadvantaged groups were likely to consume a high level of �\less healthy. takeaway food compared with their more advantaged counterparts. The lower fruit and vegetable intake among lower socioeconomic groups was partly mediated by their high consumption of �\less healthy. takeaway food. Lower socioeconomic groups were more likely to have negative meal preparation behaviours and attitudes, and weaker health and nutrition-related beliefs and knowledge. Socioeconomic differences in takeaway food consumption were partly explained by meal preparation behaviours and attitudes, and these factors along with health and nutrition-related beliefs and knowledge appeared to contribute to the socioeconomic variations in choice of takeaway foods.

Conclusion This thesis enhances our understanding of socioeconomic differences in dietary behaviours and the potential pathways by describing takeaway food consumption patterns by SEP, explaining the role of takeaway food consumption in socioeconomic inequalities in fruit and vegetable intake, and identifying the potential impact of psychosocial factors on socioeconomic differences in takeaway food consumption and the choice of takeaway food. Some important evidence is also provided for developing policies and effective intervention programs to improve the diet quality of the population, especially among lower socioeconomic groups. This thesis concludes with a discussion of a number of recommendations about future research and strategies to improve the dietary intake of the whole population, and especially among disadvantaged groups.

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ID Code: 53343
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Publication)
Supervisor: Turrell, Gavin& Giskes, Katrina M.
Keywords: socioeconomic position, takeaway food, fast-food, fruit and vegetable intake, diet, education, household income, psychosocial factors
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 28 Aug 2012 09:38
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2012 09:38

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