Socioeconomic inequalities in diet and bodyweight: Evidence, causes, and intervention options

Turrell, G. & Vandevijvere, S. (2015) Socioeconomic inequalities in diet and bodyweight: Evidence, causes, and intervention options. Public Health Nutrition, 18(5), pp. 759-763.

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Diets low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar are the major contributors to the burden of chronic diseases globally. Previous research, and studies in this issue of Public Health Nutrition (PHN), show that unhealthy diets are more commonly observed among socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, and are key contributors to their higher rates of chronic disease. Most research examining socioeconomic inequalities in diet and bodyweight has been descriptive, and has focused on identifying the nature, extent, and direction of the inequalities. These types of studies are clearly necessary and important. We need however to move beyond description of the problem and focus much more on the question of why inequalities in diet and bodyweight exist. Furthering our understanding of this question will provide the necessary evidence-base to develop effective interventions to reduce the inequalities. The challenge of tackling dietary inequalities however doesn’t finish here: a maximally effective approach will also require equity-based policies that address the unequal population-distribution of social and economic resources, which is the fundamental root-cause of dietary and bodyweight inequalities.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 86492
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1017/S1368980015000233
ISSN: 1475-2727
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 10 Aug 2015 03:29
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2015 21:15

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