BioScience Trends. 2012;6(4):176-182. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2012.v6.4.176)

High quality nutrient intake is associated with higher household expenditures by Japanese adults.

Fukuda Y, Hiyoshi A


There is little evidence of socioeconomic differences in dietary intake in the Japanese population. This study examined the association between household expenditures and dietary intake using nationally representative surveys of Japan. We analyzed data from the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions and National Health and Nutrition Survey, 2003-2007. For subjects ages 18 to 74 years (11,240 men and 11,472 women), the sex-specific association between household expenditure quartiles and selected nutrient intake was examined using comparison of means and prevalence of a healthy intake. Higher household expenditures were associated with an increase in the mean levels of total energy, fat, protein, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins A and C, niacin, and fiber for both men and women and salt for men. Prevalence comparison indicated that most of the recommendations for dietary intake were met for people with higher household expenditures than for those with lower household expenditures. There was no clear association between fat intake and expenditures. Higher household expenditures were associated with a healthy and balanced nutrient intake in Japanese adults. The findings suggest that socioeconomic differences in dietary patterns contribute to socioeconomic inequalities in mortality and morbidity in Japan.

KEYWORDS: Health inequalities, socioeconomic factors, household expenditures, nutrient intake, diet quality

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