Objective: To investigate socio-economic differences in changes in fruit and vegetable intake between 2004 and 2011 and explore the mediating role of financial barriers in this change.
Design: Respondents completed a self-reported questionnaire in 2004 and 2011, including questions on fruit and vegetable intake (frequency per week), indicators of socio-economic position (education, income) and perceived financial barriers (fruits/vegetables are expensive, financial distress). Associations were analysed using ordinal logistic regression. The mediating role of financial barriers in the association between socio-economic position and change in fruit and vegetable intake was studied with the Baron and Kenny approach.
Setting: Longitudinal GLOBE study.
Subjects: A total of 2978 Dutch adults aged 25-75 years.
Results: Respondents with the lowest income in 2004 were more likely to report a decrease in intake of cooked vegetables (P-trend<0·001) and raw vegetables (P-trend<0·001) between 2004 and 2011, compared with those with the highest income level. Respondents with the lowest education level in 2004 were more likely to report a decrease in intake of fruits (P-trend=0·021), cooked vegetables (P-trend=0·033), raw vegetables (P-trend<0·001) and fruit juice (P-trend=0·027) between 2004 and 2011, compared with those with the highest education level. Financial barriers partially mediated the association between income and education and the decrease in fruit and cooked vegetable intake between 2004 and 2011.
Conclusions: These results show a widening of relative income and educational differences in fruit and vegetable intake between 2004 and 2011. Financial barriers explained a small part of this widening.
Keywords: Change; Education; Fruits; Income; Longitudinal; Socio-economic position; Vegetables.