Associations between predictors of children's dietary intake and socioeconomic position: A systematic review of the literature

Dorota M. Zarnowiecki, James Dollman, Natalie Parletta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Socioeconomically disadvantaged children are at higher risk of consuming poor diets, in particular less fruits and vegetables and more non-core foods and sweetened beverages. Currently the drivers of socioeconomically related differences in children's dietary intake are not well understood. This systematic review explored whether dietary predictors vary for children of different socioeconomic circumstances. Seven databases and reference lists of included material were searched for studies investigating predictors of 9-13-year-old children's diet in relation to socioeconomic position. Individual- and population-based cross-sectional, cohort and epidemiological studies published in English and conducted in developed countries were included. Twenty-eight studies were included in this review; most were conducted in Europe (n=12) or North America (n=10). The most frequently used indicators of socioeconomic position were parent education and occupation. Predictors of children's dietary intake varied among children of different socioeconomic circumstances. Socioeconomic position was consistently associated with children's nutrition knowledge, parent modelling, home food availability and accessibility. Indeterminate associations with socioeconomic position were observed for parent feeding practices and food environment near school. Differences in the determinants of eating between socioeconomic groups provide a better understanding of the drivers of socioeconomic disparities in dietary intake, and how to develop targeted intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-391
Number of pages17
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Children
  • Dietary intake
  • Predictors
  • Socioeconomic position


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