Background: There is lack of evidence about the likely impact of the economic crisis on dietary habits in Western societies. We aimed to assess dietary modifications that possibly occurred during the recession and to investigate major socioeconomic factors associated with such modifications.
Methods: Cross-sectional analysis on 1829 subjects from the general population recruited in the larger INHES study (n = 9319) a telephone-based survey on nutrition and health conducted in Italy from 2010 to 2013. Association of socioeconomic (education, household income, occupation) with self-reported impact of the economic crisis on dietary habits was tested by multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Results: Low-educated subjects (OR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.39-3.80), those with poor income (OR = 5.71; 95% CI: 3.68-8.85), and unemployed (OR = 3.93; 95% CI: 1.62-9.56) had higher odds of reporting undesirable dietary changes due to recession. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was lower in subjects reporting a negative impact of the crisis on diet as compared to those declaring no effect, whereas the quality of grocery items was higher in the latter.
Conclusions: Undesirable dietary changes due to the economic crisis were mainly reported by lower socioeconomic groups. Subjects perceiving a negative impact of the recession on their diet also showed a lower adherence to Mediterranean diet and reduced quality of grocery products.
- Journal Article