The effect of age, sex, and education on food consumption of a middle-aged English cohort-EPIC in East Anglia.
Preventive medicine 2000 ; 30: 26-34.
DOI : 10.1006/pmed.1999.0598
PubMed ID : 10642457
Different dietary patterns are associated with differing risks of chronic disease. Yet independent relationships between diet and demographic variables, such as age, sex, and education, are poorly described.
The first 1968 subjects enrolled to the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) cohort from general practices in East Anglia, UK, provided food frequency and demographic data.
Men ate meat, eggs, milk, and sugary foods more frequently, but fruit and vegetables less frequently than women. Older subjects ate red meats and saturated bread spreads more frequently but consumed less poultry and drank less coffee than younger subjects. Better educated subjects ate less meat, more salads, and fewer cakes and sweet foods than those less educated. Five clusters representing different dietary patterns were readily identified. These were (a) younger well-educated, probably containing many vegetarians; (b) "low calorie," two-thirds female; (c) high alcohol, nuts, meat, largely male; (d) preferring fruits, vegetables, unsaturated fats, poultry, and fish, 71% female; (e) preferring meat, potatoes, sweet foods, saturated fats, less well-educated older men.
The reported consumption of many foods varies by age, gender, and education. A pattern of eating that is generally considered less healthful was particularly seen in older men, placing them at increased risk of chronic disease.