Health inequalities in lithuania: education and nutrition habits
Sommaire de l'article
The aim of the study was to evaluate the associations between food behavior and educational level among Lithuanian adult population. Five health behavior surveys were carried out within the international Finbalt Health Monitor project in 1994-2002. For every survey the national random sample of 3000 inhabitants aged 20-64 was taken from the National Population Register. The study material was collected through mailed questionnaires covering sociodemographic characteristics and some nutrition habits. The respondents were categorized according to the level of education into three groups: persons having incomplete secondary, secondary and university education. Multiple regression analysis was used for evaluation of associations between level of education and nutrition habits. The persons with university education have a healthier diet than those with incomplete secondary education. The consumption of fish, vegetables and fruit, use of vegetable oil for cooking, was substantially higher in those with university education as compared to persons with incomplete secondary education. The proportion of persons drinking whole milk was the highest among the low educated men and women. The high-educated women consumed meat less often than those with incomplete secondary education did. However, persons with university education preferred butter on bread. The high-educated men consumed cheese daily more often than those with low education. The positive trends in nutrition habits of Lithuanians were observed between 1994 and 2002. However, educational differences in nutrition habits still remain significant. In conclusion, alongside with other health interventions, the programs aimed at reducing inequalities in health should consider the educational differences in nutrition habits of Lithuanians paying more attention to less educated persons.