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Socio-economic determinants of eating practices of Ukrainians

Author(s): Chagarna, Natalia | Andreeva, Tatiana

Journal: Tobacco Control and Public Health in Eastern Europe
ISSN 2222-2693

Volume: 2;
Issue: S1;
Start page: 39;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: eating practices | socio-economic characteristics | Ukraine

BACKGROUND: Healthy eating practices are among important public health goals worldwide. We aimed to investigate socio-economic determinants of the nutrition habits of Ukrainian families. METHODS: Data from the “UKRAINIAN LONGITUDINAL MONITORING SURVEY 2007” were analysed. Factor analysis produced variables characterising eating practices, which were re-coded in binary variables indicating low/high food consumption. The bivariate and multivariate analysis was conducted to identify associations between socio-economic state and eating modes. RESULTS: Three dimensions of nutrition practices were identified in the factor analysis: “standard diet” variable associated with quantities of most food products consumed, it actually shows how much food in general the household consumes, “fruit-and-vegetable diet” variable was associated with quantities of various fruits and vegetables included in the questionnaire, and “processed-(pre-packed)-food diet” variable was created based on its associations with products like sausage. More “processed” food was consumed by members of households which were generally better-off (equipped with dvd-player, computer (laptop), garage), and Russian-speakers. More plant food was consumed by the households with attributes of rural living (equipped with bottled gas, central or individual system of heating, those who possessed a motorcycle or a truck). The owners of a plot adjacent to rural house or land used for gardening were eating more fruits and vegetables. A small group of well-off urban dwellers (like those possessing tumble-dryers), tend to eat more plant food; however, this group is not numerous. CONCLUSION: Plant food eating in Ukraine stays a factor of survival rather than healthy eating for those households which dwell in rural areas and have no means to choose foods they want. Those people who achieve better socio-economic status tend to increase processed food portion of their diets. Only a very small group of affluent Ukrainian citizens tend to eat much fruit and vegetables contributing to U-form relationship between socio-economic status and antioxidant-rich food consumption.
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