Trends in Socioeconomic Inequities in Diet Quality between 2004 and 2015 among a Nationally Representative Sample of Children in Canada
Authors: Olstad DL
Background: Dietary inequities in childhood may shape dietary and health inequities across the life course. Quantifying the magnitude and direction of trends in absolute and relative gaps and gradients in diet quality according to multiple indicators of socioeconomic position (SEP) can inform strategies to narrow these inequities. Objectives: We examined trends in absolute and relative gaps and gradients in diet quality between 2004 and 2015 according to 3 indicators of SEP among a nationally representative sample of children in Canada. Methods: Data from children (aged 2-17 y; n = 18,670) who participated in the cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey-Nutrition in 2004 or 2015 were analyzed. SEP was based on total household income, household educational attainment, and neighborhood deprivation. Dietary intake data from 1 interviewer-administered 24-h dietary recall were used to derive a Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) score for each participant as a measure of diet quality. Inequities in diet quality were quantified using 4 indices: absolute and relative gaps (between highest and lowest SEP) and absolute (Slope Index of Inequality) and relative gradients (Relative Index of Inequality). Overall and age-stratified multivariable linear regression and generalized linear models examined trends in HEI-2015 scores between 2004 and 2015. Results: Although mean HEI-2015 total scores improved from 52.3 to 57.3 (maximum 100 points; P < 0.001), absolute and relative gaps and gradients in diet quality remained mostly stable for all 3 SEP indicators. However, among children aged 6-11 y, absolute and relative gradients in diet quality according to household educational attainment and neighborhood deprivation widened. Conclusions: The diet quality of children in Canada was poor and inequitably patterned in 2004 and 2015. Although mean diet quality improved between 2004 and 2015, absolute and relative gaps and gradients in diet quality persisted, with some evidence of widening absolute and relative gradients among 6- to 11-y-olds.
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Olstad DL (2021).
Socioeconomic inequities in diet quality among a nationally representative sample of adults living in Canada: an analysis of trends between 2004 and 2015
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