Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People Of Higher Socioeconomic Status Choose Better Diets, But Pay More Per Calorie

Date:
May 4, 2009
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
As people become more educated, studies have demonstrated that they tend to choose foods that are lower in calories but higher in nutrients. They also pay more. Researchers compared the eating habits and food costs of a sample of 164 adults in the Seattle, Washington area.

As people become more educated, studies have demonstrated that they tend to choose foods that are lower in calories but higher in nutrients. They also pay more. Researchers from the University of Washington have now compared the eating habits and food costs of a sample of 164 adults in the Seattle, Washington area.

Related Articles


The energy density of the diet (i.e. available energy per unit weight) is one indicator of diet quality. Lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products and fresh vegetables and fruit provide fewer calories per unit weight than do fast foods, sweets, candy and desserts. Energy dense foods provide more calories per unit weight but tend to be nutrient-poor.

Diets of low energy density and high nutrient content have been associated with less weight gain and with lower rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer. In contrast, energy-dense diets have been linked to higher obesity rates and higher disease risk. Improving diet quality by lowering its energy density is standard advice for weight control, cancer prevention and better health.

The 164 participants (103 women and 61 men) recorded their usual frequency of consumption of 152 foods and 22 beverages and indicated portion size. They also provided four-day dietary records and completed demographic and behavioral questionnaires.

For both men and women, higher dietary energy density was associated with higher intakes of total fat and saturated fat and with lower intakes of dietary fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C. Daily diet cost ($/day) was slightly higher for men ($6.72/day) than women ($6.21/day), reflecting the fact that men ate more than women. However, the difference reversed after adjusting for energy. For each 2,000 kcal of dietary energy, men spent $7.43 compared to $8.12 spent by women. Diets that were more costly in terms of $/2000 kcal were also lower in energy density and contained higher levels of nutrients.

Higher quality diets were not only more costly per 2000 kcal but were associated with higher household incomes and education of study participants. Education, rather than incomes was the dominant factor. More highly educated respondents reported higher quality and therefore more costly diets, independent of household income level.

Writing in the article, Pablo Monsivais, PhD MPH, and Adam Drewnowski, PhD, both of the University of Washington, Seattle, conclude, "The finding that higher-quality diets were consumed by women of higher (socioeconomic status) and more costly per 2000 kcal has implications for epidemiologic studies of diet and chronic disease. Nutritional epidemiology has historically been based on the premise that nutrient exposures are directly linked to health outcomes. However, nutritional status is also intimately linked to socioeconomic status, and the findings reported here raise the possibility that the higher monetary cost of nutritious diets may provide one explanation for these observations. Future studies, based on more representative samples, will be needed to elucidate the connections between diet quality and diet cost across socioeconomic strata."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Monsivais et al. Lower-Energy-Density Diets Are Associated with Higher Monetary Costs per Kilocalorie and Are Consumed by Women of Higher Socioeconomic Status. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009; 109 (5): 814 DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2009.02.002

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "People Of Higher Socioeconomic Status Choose Better Diets, But Pay More Per Calorie." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501090927.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2009, May 4). People Of Higher Socioeconomic Status Choose Better Diets, But Pay More Per Calorie. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501090927.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "People Of Higher Socioeconomic Status Choose Better Diets, But Pay More Per Calorie." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501090927.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) A grassroots effort is underway in several US cities to encourage more black women to breastfeed their babies by teaching them the benefits of the age-old practice, which is sometimes shunned in African-American communities. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Harvard researchers found that girls who consumed more than 1.5 sugary drinks a day had their first period earlier than those who drank less. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins