Demographics, not beverage consumption, is associated with diet quality

Int J Food Sci Nutr. Nov-Dec 2006;57(7-8):494-511. doi: 10.1080/09637480600991240.


Background: Demographic characteristics and beverage choices may affect diet quality.

Objective: To estimate the independent associations between consumption of food categories of the US Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid, beverage consumption, gender, age, family income, and race/ethnicity with the Healthy Eating Index (HEI).

Methods: Data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals 1994-96, 1998 were used to develop multiple regression models of demographics and food and beverage consumption regressed on the HEI.

Results: After adolescence (13-19 years), males consistently had a lower diet quality than females. Young adults (20-29 years) had the poorest diet quality. Family income had a positive association with the HEI. Controlling for income, African-Americans had lower HEI scores than other race/ethnicity groups. Caucasians consumed significantly more milk products than did the other race/ethnicity groups. Consumption of beverages had a weak but positive association with the HEI.

Conclusions: Family income and race/ethnicity have unique and independent associations with the HEI and dietary patterns.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Age Distribution
  • Beverages*
  • Dairy Products
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Edible Grain
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Poverty
  • Regression Analysis
  • Vegetables


  • Dietary Fats