Socio-economic indicators are independently associated with intake of animal foods in French adults

Public Health Nutr. 2016 19(17):3146-57

Méjean C, Si Hassen W, Lecossais C, Allès B, Péneau S, Hercberg S, Castetbon K


The specific role of major socio-economic indicators (education, occupation, income) in influencing consumer choice of animal foods (AF) intake could reveal distinct socio-economic facets, thus enabling elucidation of mechanisms leading to social inequalities in health. We investigated the independent association of each indicator with intake of different AF and their effect modification.


Cross-sectional study. AF intake was estimated using three 24 h dietary records. Associations between socio-economic factors and AF intake and interactions between socio-economic indicators were assessed using ANCOVA adjusted for age and energy intake. Analyses were performed separately for men and women, since gender interactions were found.




Adults (n 92 036) participating in the NutriNet-Santé Study.


Low educated persons had higher intake of red meat (+9-12 g/d), processed meat (+6-9 g/d) and poultry (for men, +7 g/d) than those with a higher education level. Percentage of fish consumers was lower in individuals of the lowest income class compared with those in higher classes. Manual workers had a higher intake of cream desserts (for men, +14 g/d) than managerial staff. Few significant interactions were found. In stratified analyses, persons with the highest income consumed more yoghurt than those who had lower income, only in low educated individuals.


Socio-economic disparities in AF intake varied according to the socio-economic indicator, suggesting the specific influence of each indicator on AF intake. In particular, lower education was associated with higher intake of red and processed meats and cream desserts, and had an effect modification on the relationship between income and AF intake.