Socioeconomic Disparities in Dietary and Physical Activity Habits of Iranian Children and Adolescents: the CASPIAN-IV Study.
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This study aims to compare the dietary and physical activity (PA) habits in a nationally representative sample of Iranian children and adolescents based on their family and regional socioeconomic status (SES).
This nationwide study was conducted on 14,880 students, aged 6-18 years, and one of their parents living in urban and rural areas of 30 provinces in Iran. Data regarding PA, screen time and dietary habits were recorded using two sets of questionnaires for both students and their parents. The results were compared according to the SES of the family and the living region.
Overall, 13,486 students completed the study (90.6% participation rate) with a mean age of 12.5 (95% CI: 12.3-12.6) years. Comparing family SES, the level of PA was similar in the three SES groups. The total screen time, working computer with and watching TV was significantly higher in those with higher family SES (P < 0.05). Consumption of meat, dairy products, rice, fruit, and vegetables was significantly higher in families with higher SES. Consumption of salty snacks and sweet drinks was significantly lower in families with higher SES level. Sedentary lifestyle was more prevalent in regions with higher SES. The dietary habits of inhabitants of regions with low SES was similar to that reported for individuals with low family SES.
Both family and regional SES might impact lifestyle habits from early life. Participants with higher SES had healthier dietary habits but lower PA level than their counterparts with lower SES. Socioeconomic disparities should be considered for public health interventions aiming to improve lifestyle habits.