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Social variations in nutritional habits and their trends in Lithuanian adult population
Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic School of Public Health NHV.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to assess the socio-demographic variations in nutritional habits and their trends over the last decade in Lithuanian adult population.

Methods: Six health behaviour surveys were carried out within the international FINBALT HEALTH MONITOR project between 1994-2004. For every survey the national random sample of 3000 inhabitants aged 20-64 was taken from the National Population Register. The study material was collected through mailed questionnaires covering sociodemographic characteristics and some nutrition habits. Response rates ranged from 61.7% to 74.4%. Education was measured using five educational levels. The respondents were categorized into three groups: persons with incomplete secondary education (primary or incomplete secondary), secondary (secondary or vocational), and university education. The degree of urbanization was based on the administrative classification of the places of residence. The respondents were grouped as living in cities, towns, or villages. The effect of age, level of education, place of residence, and marital status upon nutritional habits was evaluated using multifactor logistic regression analysis that was carried out separately for men and women.

Results: Positive trends in nutritional habits were observed between 1994-2004 in Lithuania. The diet of the Lithuanian population tended to become closer to the WHO recommendations for healthy nutrition. The intake of animal fat decreased. Almost a half of population replaced butter on bread by low fat margarine. The proportion of men using vegetable oil for cooking increased from 31.1% in 1994 to 82.6% in 2004, and the proportion of women – from 47.7% to 89.4, respectively. The consumption of fresh vegetables, fruit, and dark bread has increased. Although all social groups of the Lithuanian population have changed their diet, social differences in nutrition habits still remained significant. Women, highly educated persons and urban population have healthier diet than men, people with lower education and rural population. The odds ratio of using vegetable oil among men with university education was higher by 98% and among women – by 67% than that among persons with incomplete secondary education. The respondent with university education were more than twice as likely as low educated people to consume fresh fruits daily. The proportion of persons drinking whole milk was much higher in villages (OR 4.80 (CI 4.0-5.8) for men and 7.33 (CI 6.1-8.8) for women) compared to cities.

Conclusions: Existing social differences in nutritional habits should be considered in the programs for the promotion of healthy nutrition and implementation of Lithuanian Food and Nutrition Action Plan development

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. , 41 p.
Master of Public Health, MPH, ISSN 1104-5701 ; MPH 2006:24
Keyword [en]
Nutritional Habits, Socioeconomic Status, Food Frequency Questionnaire, Trends
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3262OAI: diva2:731839
2006-08-29, Nordic School of Public Health NHV, P.O. Box 12133,, SE-402 42 Göteborg, Sweden, 13:00 (English)

ISBN 91-7997-157-1

Available from: 2014-07-03 Created: 2014-07-02 Last updated: 2015-01-28Bibliographically approved

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MPH 2006:24(807 kB)140 downloads
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