Eating at the university canteen. associations with socioeconomic status and healthier self-reported eating habits in france.
Sommaire de l'article
French university canteens offer structured meals at a fixed moderate price. We examined whether eating regularly at university canteens was associated with socioeconomic status (SES) or dietary practices. The study data came from a cross-sectional study of a random sample of 1723 students aged 18-24 years, in their first year of university in 2005-2006, enrolled in the universities of southeastern France (response rate=71%). Self-reported dietary practices were collected with a behavioral questionnaire. Adjusted logistic regressions showed that eating regularly at university canteens was less frequent among students with less than €300 monthly resources and not living with their families (OR=0.68 [95%CI: 0.49-0.94]). It was also positively associated, regardless of SES, with the consumption of at least five servings of fruit/vegetables daily (OR=1.42 [1.05-1.92]) and one serving of meat/fish daily (OR=1.41 [1.13-1.76]) but not with either restricting fatty food (OR=1.04 [0.81-1.33]) or never/rarely adding salt to food (OR=1.06 [0.85-1.32]). Eating regularly at university canteens was less frequent among less well-off students and was positively associated with some healthier self-reported dietary habits. Further research is needed to confirm these results in the overall student population in France and to understand the determinants of university canteen utilization.