Snack frequency: associations with healthy and unhealthy food choices.
Sommaire de l'article
OBJECTIVE: We examined associations between snack frequency, sociodemographic characteristics, BMI, dietary and eating behaviour. In order to identify whether various subgroups of high-frequency snack consumers exist, we investigated underlying food patterns and lifestyle factors.
DESIGN: The data were based on the Swiss Food Panel Questionnaire of 2010, which included an FFQ, questions relating to sociodemographics and lifestyle factors. Data were examined using ANOVA, regression analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis. Gender differences were also investigated in the analysis of the data.
SETTING: A sample of 6189 adults participating in the Swiss Food Panel filled in a questionnaire (response rate 30 %).
SUBJECTS: The sample consisted of both men and women, with a mean age of 54·4 (sd 13·5) years.
RESULTS: There was no association between snack frequency and BMI. Consumption frequency of sweets and savouries as well as fruit intake increased with increasing snack frequency. Additionally, three different subgroups of high-frequency snack consumers could be revealed: healthy, moderate and unhealthy dietary-pattern groups. The latter included respondents who were less health-conscious and was characterized by high alcohol consumption frequency, daily breakfast skipping and watching television during the main meal.
CONCLUSIONS: High snack frequency occurred in the context of healthy as well as unhealthy dietary behaviour and lifestyle patterns. Women made healthier dietary food choices and were more likely to consume fruits as snacks, while men chose unhealthy foods, such as sweets and savouries, more often.