Abstract Purpose: Regular meal habits facilitate healthy dietary habits and especially low breakfast frequency shows associations with risk of overweight among adolescents. Studies on social inequality in meal frequencies among children and adolescents are limited, and especially studies of lunch and evening meals are lacking. The present study aims to investigate the association between socioeconomic position and breakfast, lunch and evening meal frequencies among adolescents. Methods: Data are from the Danish contribution to the International cross-sectional questionnaire study Health Behavior in School-aged Children in 2010. The study includes schoolchildren in three age groups, 11-, 13-, and 15-year olds from a random sample of schools, participation rate 86.3%, n=4922. Socioeconomic position was measured by parents’ occupational social class. Breakfast, lunch and evening meal consumption were measured by frequency questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regressions were conducted adjusted by age, gender and family structure. Results: Analyses showed that adolescents from low family social class had significantly higher odds of low breakfast, lunch and evening meal frequency than adolescents from high family social class (breakfast: odds ratio (OR) = 2.22, lunch: OR = 1.56, evening meal: OR = 1.80). For all three meal types the odds of low frequency increased gradually by decreasing social class. There were no significant interactions with gender. Conclusion: The results indicate social inequalities in adolescent meal frequencies. Adolescents from lower socioeconomic position are more likely to have low breakfast, lunch and evening meal frequencies. It is essential to consider socioeconomic position when promoting regular meal habits among adolescents.
Main Research Area:
2013 Annual meeting in International Society for Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA), 2013