Abstract MP75: The Influence of Income on Global Dietary Habits by Country, Age, Sex, and Time
Background: Income may influence diet, especially in low and middle-income countries, and particularly in the setting of relatively high recent food prices and the global financial crisis. Yet, the influence of income on dietary habits in most countries is not well established, nor how this influence varies by age, sex, or time across different countries.
Aim: To assess the relation of income with dietary habits globally, including from least developed to highly industrialized countries, and by age, sex, and time.
Methods: We estimated the income elasticities of consumption of 11 food categories in 180 countries using the Global Dietary Database, based on 325 national surveys on individual-level dietary intakes worldwide. Per-capita income by country in real terms and on purchasing power parity basis were obtained from the World Bank. Elasticities were modelled using a modified Working’s expenditure share model by country, age (20-80+ in 5-year intervals), sex, and time (1990, 2005, 2010).
Results: Significant income elasticities were identified. Food intake in low-income countries was generally more responsive to income than in high-income countries (Figure). In addition, income elasticity of dietary intake varied for different items (fruit, fruit juices, vegetables, beans/legumes, nuts/seeds, whole grains, unprocessed red meat, processed meat, milk, sugar sweetened beverages, fish). Additional heterogeneity was evident by age and sex, that also varied by food item.
Conclusions: Intakes of different foods are variably responsive to income, and diets in low-income countries are more sensitive to income changes than in high-income countries, even after accounting for purchasing power. Additional food-specific patterns of variation in income elasticity were seen by age and sex. These first-ever global findings of dietary income elasticity based on individual-reported dietary intakes and by age and sex inform the relevance and impact of underlying societal determinants of dietary habits across the world.
Author Disclosures: D. Mozaffarian: None. S. Khatibzadeh: None. R. Micha: None. A. Muhammad: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.