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J Epidemiol Community Health 58:686-691 doi:10.1136/jech.2003.008490
  • Research report

Residential area deprivation predicts fruit and vegetable consumption independently of individual educational level and occupational social class: a cross sectional population study in the Norfolk cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC-Norfolk)

  1. Shamarina Shohaimi1,
  2. Ailsa Welch1,
  3. Sheila Bingham2,
  4. Robert Luben1,
  5. Nicholas Day1,
  6. Nicholas Wareham1,
  7. Kay-Tee Khaw1
  1. 1Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, UK
  2. 2MRC Dunn Nutrition Unit, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr K-T Khaw
 Clinical Gerontology Unit, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Box 251, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK; kk101medschl.cam.ac.uk
  • Accepted 4 January 2004

Abstract

Study objective: To investigate the independent association between individual and area based socioeconomic measures and fruit and vegetable consumption.

Design: Cross sectional population based study.

Setting and participants: 22 562 men and women aged 39–79 years living in the general community in Norfolk, United Kingdom, recruited using general practice age-sex registers.

Outcome measures: Fruit and vegetable intake assessed using a food frequency questionnaire.

Main results: Being in a manual occupational social class, having no educational qualifications, and living in a deprived area all independently predicted significantly lower consumption of fruit and vegetables. The effect of residential area deprivation was predominantly in those in manual occupational social class and no educational qualifications.

Conclusions: Understanding some of the community level barriers to changing health related behaviours may lead to more effective interventions to improving health in the whole community, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

Footnotes

  • Funding: EPIC-Norfolk is supported by research programme grant funding from the Cancer Research Campaign and Medical Research Council with additional support from the Stroke Association, British Heart Foundation, Department of Health, Europe Against Cancer Programme Commission of the European Union, Food Standards Agency, and Wellcome Trust.

  • Competing interests: none declared.