Department of Pediatrics, Child Growth and Development Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non-Communicable Disease, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
1 Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Modeling in Health Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Physiology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Background & Aim
The appropriate meal consumption affects the children’s and adolescents’ health. Few studies have shown an association between the socioeconomic inequality and the eating behavior among children and adolescents. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the socioeconomic inequality in meal skipping patterns among children and adolescents.
Materials & Methods
The data were accessible through the fifth round of a school-based program in Iran in 2015. In this cross-sectional nationwide study, 14,286 students aged 7–18 years were selected via the multistage cluster sampling from 30 provinces of Iran. The Global School-based Health Survey validated questionnaire was used to assess the socioeconomic variables and meal consumption patterns among children and adolescents. Socioeconomic status (SES) was computed using principle component analysis method. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess the socioeconomic inequality in meal skipping patterns.
The frequency of breakfast, lunch, and dinner skipping were 13.8% (95% CI: 13.3–14.5), 6.8% (95% CI: 6.4–7.2), and 7.5% (95% CI: 7.1–7.9), respectively. In multivariate model, living in a two-parent family compared to living in a single-parent family decreased the odds of breakfast skipping (OR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.42–0.67)). Low SES level was associated with higher odds of skipping breakfast (OR: 1.79, 95% CI: 1.50–2.14) and dinner (OR: 1.80, 95% CI: 1.42–2.28). Moreover, maternal illiteracy and unemployment were associated with skipping breakfast, lunch, and dinner (all p values < 0.05).
Some demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, such as maternal illiteracy and unemployment, low SES level, and living in a single-parent family were suggested as the main predictors of meal skipping patterns in children and adolescents.
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