Education and Socioeconomic Level of Mothers Are Negatively Associated with the Diet Quality of Their Offspring– Evidence from the 2015 Colombian Nutrition Survey
Current Developments in Nutrition
Objectives To analyze the association between maternal education level and socio-economic status (SES), and diet quality of Colombian children. Methods The National Nutrition Survey (ENSIN) 2015 was a cross-sectional survey examining general health and dietary intake in a representative sample of Colombian children and adults. The Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), an indicator of adherence to diet quality, was calculated using a single 24 h recall questionnaire administered to 11,641
... tered to 11,641 children aged 6–17y (5470 females, 6171 males). Diet quality was considered low, intermediate or high if the median AHEI score ranged between 17.0–44.0; 44.5–54.0; or 54.5–74.0, respectively. Maternal education was categorized as having: incomplete elementary school or less, complete primary or incomplete high school, complete high school or incomplete university, or professional degree or higher. A validated wealth index (quintiles) was used to define SES. These two risk factors were fitted in an adjusted linear regression model to investigate their association with children's diet quality. Results The median AHEI score was 43.7 (IQR: 35.7–51.5) A fifth of the mothers had the lowest educational level, whilst 5.7% reported having a professional degree or higher education. Increasing maternal education level was negatively associated with diet quality (p-trend < 0.001). Children of women with the highest educational level had, on average, 2.7 lower units of AHEI compared to those of mothers with the lowest education level (P < 0.001). Similarly, SES was negatively associated with diet quality (p-trend < 0.001). Children in the highest SES quintile had a mean 4.7 lower units of AHEI compared those in the lowest SES (P < 0.001). Conclusions Higher maternal education and SES were associated with lower diet quality in Colombian children. The findings suggest that Colombia is experiencing a pattern 4 of the Nutrition Transition ('Western' style diet), which is a known risk factor for non-communicable diseases. Funding Sources GMG was supported by the Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (COLCIENCIAS) (Fondo para Investigación en Salud-FIS-). MRD was funded by COLCIENCIAS (Convocatoria 647). FDCM was funded by the Fulbright Commission and the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/144,563/2019).