Dietary trends among low socioeconomic status women of childbearing age in the United States from 1977 to 1996: a comparison among ethnic groups

Siega-Riz, A.M.; Popkin, B.M.

Journal of the American Medical Women's Association 56(2): 44-48; 72


ISSN/ISBN: 0098-8421
PMID: 11326795
Document Number: 531166
To identify dietary trends among low socioeconomic status women of childbearing age from three ethnic groups from 1977 to 1996. The sample consisted of 19- to 44-year-old women at 185% of poverty with 12 years of education or less (n = 4682) from three US Department of Agriculture surveys. The Revised Diet Quality Index (DQI-R) and level of folate were the main outcomes measured. Changes in food consumption for several food groups were also examined. Diet quality significantly improved between 1977 and 1996 for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. All groups had significant decreases in saturated fat intake by 1996, but only Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women significantly decreased their total fat and cholesterol intakes. Fruit and vegetable intakes remained stable. Mean intakes of calcium, iron, and folate were below recommendations at every time point for all ethnic groups. All three groups decreased their intakes of butter, margarine, egg items, bacon, high-fat red meats, and low-fiber/high-fat breads and increased their intakes of high-fiber cereals, all of which are positive. These trends were balanced, however, by decreases in medium-fiber vegetables, soy, and legumes and increases in high-fat/high-fiber breads, high-fat desserts, high-fat salty snacks, and high-fat grain-based mixed dishes. This study highlights problem dietary habits that public health professionals need to address in order to reduce the prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases.

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