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Sufficient dairy food consumption during adolescence is necessary for preventing disease. While socio-economically disadvantaged adolescents tend to consume few dairy foods, some eat quantities more in line with dietary recommendations despite socio-economic challenges. Socio-economic variations in factors supportive of adolescents’ frequent dairy consumption remain unexplored. The present study aimed to identify cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between intrapersonal, social and environmental factors and adolescents’ frequent dairy consumption at baseline and two years later across socio-economic strata, and to examine whether socio-economic position moderated observed effects.
Online surveys completed at baseline (2004–2005) and follow-up (2006–2007) included a thirty-eight-item FFQ and questions based on social ecological models examining intrapersonal, social and environmental dietary influences.
Thirty-seven secondary schools in Victoria, Australia.
Australian adolescents (n 1201) aged 12–15 years, drawn from a sub-sample of 3264 adolescents (response rate=33 %).
While frequent breakfast consumption was cross-sectionally associated with frequent dairy consumption among all adolescents, additional associated factors differed by socio-economic position. Baseline dairy consumption longitudinally predicted consumption at follow-up. No further factors predicted frequent consumption among disadvantaged adolescents, while four additional factors were predictive among advantaged adolescents. Socio-economic position moderated two predictors; infrequently eating dinner alone and never purchasing from school vending machines predicted frequent consumption among advantaged adolescents.
Nutrition promotion initiatives aimed at improving adolescents’ dairy consumption should employ multifactorial approaches informed by social ecological models and address socio-economic differences in influences on eating behaviours; e.g. selected intrapersonal factors among all adolescents and social factors (e.g. mealtime rules) among advantaged adolescents.
While socio-economically disadvantaged adolescents tend to have poor dietary intakes, some manage to eat healthily. Understanding how some disadvantaged adolescents restrict high-energy foods and beverages may inform initiatives promoting healthier diets among this population. The present investigation aimed to: (i) identify disadvantaged adolescents’ high-energy food and beverage intakes; and (ii) explore cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between intrapersonal, social and environmental factors and disadvantaged adolescents’ high-energy food intakes.
Longitudinal online surveys were completed at baseline (2004–2005) and follow-up (2006–2007), each comprising a thirty-eight-item FFQ and questions examining intrapersonal, social and environmental factors.
Thirty-seven secondary schools in metropolitan and non-metropolitan Victoria, Australia.
Of 1938 adolescents aged 12–15 years participating at both time points, 529 disadvantaged adolescents (whose mothers had low education levels) were included in the present investigation.
At baseline and follow-up, respectively 32 % and 39 % of adolescents consumed high-energy foods less frequently (≤2 high-energy food meals/week); 61 % and 65 % consumed high-energy beverages less frequently (≤1 time/d). More girls than boys had less frequent high-energy food intakes, and baseline consumption frequency predicted consumption frequency at follow-up. Adolescents with less frequent consumption of high-energy foods and beverages seldom ate fast food for main meals, reported reduced availability of high-energy foods at home and were frequently served vegetables at dinner.
Nutrition promotion initiatives could help improve disadvantaged adolescents’ eating behaviours by promoting adolescents and their families to replace high-energy meals with nutritious home-prepared meals and decrease home availability of high-energy foods in place of more nutritious foods.
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