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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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