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To examine the trend in social inequality in low intake of vegetables among adolescents in Denmark from 2002 to 2014 using occupational social class (OSC) as socio-economic indicator.
Repeated cross-sectional school surveys including four waves of data collection in 2002–2014. The analyses focused on absolute social inequality (difference between high and low OSC in low vegetable intake) as well as relative social inequality (OR for low vegetable intake by OSC).
The nationally representative Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study in Denmark.
The study population was 11–15-year olds (n 17 243).
Low intake of vegetables was defined as less than weekly intake measured by food frequency items. OSC was measured by student reports of parents’ occupation. The proportion of participants who reported eating vegetables less than once weekly was 8·9 %, with a notable decrease from 11·9 % in 2002 to 5·9 % in 2014. The OR (95 % CI) for less than weekly vegetable intake was 2·28 (1·98, 2·63) in the middle compared with high OSC and 3·12 (2·67, 3·66) in the low compared with high OSC. The absolute social inequality in low vegetable intake decreased from 2002 to 2014 but the relative social inequality remained unchanged.
The study underscores that it is important to address socio-economic factors in future efforts to promote vegetable intake among adolescents. The statistical analyses of social inequality in vegetable intake demonstrate that it is important to address both absolute and relative social inequality as these two phenomena may develop differently.
To investigate: (i) how lunch frequency of adolescents varies between schools and between classes within schools; (ii) the associations between frequency of lunch and individual sociodemographic factors and school characteristics; and (iii) if any observed associations between lunch frequency and school characteristics vary by gender and age groups.
Cross-sectional study in which students and school headmasters completed self-administered questionnaires. Associations were estimated by multilevel multivariate logistic regression.
The Danish arm of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study 2010.
Students (n 4922) aged 11, 13 and 15 years attending a random sample of seventy-three schools.
The school-level and class-level variations in low lunch frequency were small (intraclass correlation coefficient <2·1 %). At the individual level, low lunch frequency was most common among students who were boys, 13- and 15-year-olds, from medium and low family social class, descendants of immigrants, living in a single-parent family and in a reconstructed family. School-level analyses suggested that having access to a canteen at school was associated with low lunch frequency (OR=1·47; 95% CI 1·14, 1·89). Likewise not having an adult present during lunch breaks was associated with low lunch frequency (OR=1·44; 95% CI 1·18, 1·75). Cross-level interactions suggested that these associations differed by age group.
Lunch frequency among Danish students appears to be largely influenced by sociodemographic factors. Additionally, the presence of an adult during lunch breaks promotes frequent lunch consumption while availability of a canteen may discourage frequent lunch consumption. These findings vary between older and younger students.
We examined associations between fast-food intake and perceived and objective fast-food outlet exposure.
Information from the Health Behaviours in School-aged Children Study was linked to fast-food outlets in seventy-five school neighbourhoods. We used multivariate multilevel logistic regression analyses to examine associations between at least weekly fast-food intake and perceived and objective fast-food outlet measures.
Data represent 4642 adolescents (aged 11–15 years) in Denmark.
Boys reporting two or more fast-food outlets had 34 % higher odds consuming fast food at least weekly. We detected higher odds of at least weekly fast-food intake among 15-year-old 9th graders (ORall=1·74; 95 % CI 1·40, 2·18; ORboys=2·20; 95 % CI 1·66, 2·91; ORgirls=1·41; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·92), Danish speakers (ORall=2·32; 95 % CI 1·68, 3·19; ORboys=2·58; 95 % CI 1·69, 3·93; ORgirls=2·37; 95 % CI 1·46, 3·84) and those travelling 15 min or less to school (ORall=1·21; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·46; ORgirls=1·44; 95 % CI 1·08, 1·93) compared with 11-year-old 5th graders, non-Danish speakers and those with longer travel times. Boys from middle- (OR=1·28; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·65) and girls from low-income families (OR=1·46; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·04) had higher odds of at least weekly fast-food intake compared with those from high-income backgrounds. Girls attending schools with canteens (OR=1·47; 95 % CI 1·00, 2·15) had higher odds of at least weekly fast-food intake than girls at schools without canteens.
The present study demonstrates that perceived food outlets may impact fast-food intake in boys while proximity impacts intake in girls. Public health planning could target food environments that emphasize a better understanding of how adolescents use local resources.
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