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To describe regional differences between eastern and western Germany with regard to food, nutrient and supplement intake in 9–12-year-old children, and analyse its association with parental education and equivalent income.
Data were obtained from the 10-year follow-up of the two prospective birth cohort studies – GINIplus and LISAplus. Data on food consumption and supplement intake were collected using an FFQ, which had been designed for the specific study population. Information on parental educational level and equivalent income was derived from questionnaires. Logistic regression modelling was used to analyse the effect of parental education, equivalent income and region on food intake, after adjusting for potential confounders.
A total of 3435 children aged 9–12 years.
Substantial regional differences in food intake were observed between eastern and western Germany. Intakes of bread, butter, eggs, pasta, vegetables/salad and fruit showed a significant direct relationship with the level of parental education after adjusting for potential confounders, whereas intakes of margarine, meat products, pizza, desserts and soft drinks were inversely associated with parental education. Equivalent income had a weaker influence on the child's food intake.
Nutritional education programmes for school-age children should therefore account for regional differences and parental education.
To analyse the association between socio-economic indicators and diet among 2-year-old children, by assessing the independent contribution of parental education and equivalent income to food intake.
The analysis was based on data from a prospective birth cohort study. Information on diet was obtained using a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Low and high intake of food was defined according to the lowest and the highest quintile of food consumption frequency, respectively.
Four German cities (Munich, Leipzig, Wesel, Bad Honnef), 1999–2001.
Subjects were 2637 children at the age of 2 years, whose parents completed questionnaires gathering information on lifestyle factors, including parental socio-economic status, household consumption frequencies and children's diet.
Both low parental education and low equivalent income were associated with a low intake of fresh fruit, cooked vegetables and olive oil, and a high intake of canned vegetables or fruit, margarine, mayonnaise and processed salad dressing in children. Children with a low intake of milk and cream, and a high intake of hardened vegetable fat, more likely had parents with lower education. Low butter intake was associated with low equivalent income only.
These findings may be helpful for future intervention programmes with more targeted policies aiming at an improvement of children's diets.
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