Dietary behavior in relation to socioeconomic characteristics and self-perceived health status

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2002 May;13(2):241-57. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2010.0567.


The purposes of this study were to examine the relationship between dietary behavior and self-perceived health status and to demonstrate the relative significance of people's socioeconomic characteristics in relation to their dietary behavior. Data came from the 1994 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System of South Carolina. Descriptive statistics were performed to provide a profile of the general characteristics of the sample. Multivariate linear regression modeling was used to examine the relative significance of socioeconomic status in relation to dietary behavior and the association between dietary behavior and self-perceived general, physical, and mental health status, controlling for other behavioral risk factors, such as smoking and sedentary lifestyle. Socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals with low income and low educational level were more likely to engage in poor dietary practice than were their counterparts. Dietary behavior was found strongly associated with self-perceived general and mental health status.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology
  • Diet*
  • Eating*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Efficacy
  • Self-Assessment
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • South Carolina / epidemiology