3 years ago

Early life socioeconomic determinants of dietary score and pattern trajectories across six waves of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children


Social patterning of dietary-related diseases may partly be explained by population disparities in children’s diets. This study aimed to determine which early life socioeconomic factors best predict dietary trajectories across childhood.


For waves 2–6 of the Baby (B) Cohort (ages 2–3 to 10–11 years) and waves 1–6 of the Kindergarten (K) Cohort (ages 4–5 to 14–15 years) of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, we constructed trajectories of dietary scores and of empirically derived dietary patterns. Dietary scores, based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines, summed children’s consumption frequencies of seven groups of foods or drinks over the last 24 hours. Dietary patterns at each wave were derived using factor analyses of 12–16 food or drink items. Using multinomial logistic regression analyses, we examined associations of baseline single (parental education, remoteness area, parental employment, income, food security and home ownership) and composite (socioeconomic position and neighbourhood disadvantage) factors with adherence to dietary trajectories.


All dietary trajectory outcomes across both cohorts showed profound gradients by composite socioeconomic position but not by neighbourhood disadvantage. For example, odds for children in the lowest relative to highest socioeconomic position quintile being in the ‘never healthy’ relative to the ‘always healthy’ score trajectory were OR=16.40, 95% CI 9.40 to 28.61 (B Cohort). Among the single variables, only parental education consistently predicted dietary trajectories.


Child dietary trajectories vary profoundly by family socioeconomic position. If causal, reducing dietary inequities may require researching underlying pathways, tackling socioeconomic inequities and targeting health promoting interventions to less educated families.

Publisher URL: http://jech.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/71/12/1152

DOI: 10.1136/jech-2017-209641

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.