Educational differences in healthy, environmentally sustainable and safe food consumption among adults in the Netherlands

Lenneke M. Van Bussel, Caroline T.M. Van Rossum*, Elisabeth H.M. Temme, Polly E. Boon, Marga C. Ocké

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective:To assess the differences in healthy, environmentally sustainable and safe food consumption by education levels among adults aged 19-69 in the Netherlands.Design:This study used data from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2007-10. Food consumption data were obtained via two 24-h recalls. Food consumption data were linked to data on food composition, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) and concentrations of contaminants. The Dutch dietary guidelines (2015), dietary GHGe and dietary exposure to contaminants were used as indicators for healthy, environmentally sustainable and safe food consumption, respectively.Setting:The Netherlands.Participants:2106 adults aged 19-69 years.Results:High education groups consumed significantly more fruit (+28 g), vegetables (men +22 g; women +27 g) and fish (men +6 g; women +7 g), and significantly less meat (men -33 g; women -14 g) compared with low education groups. Overall, no educational differences were found in total GHGe, although its food sources differed. Exposure to contaminants showed some differences between education groups.Conclusions:The consumption patterns differed by education groups, resulting in a more healthy diet, but equally environmentally sustainable diet among high compared with low education groups. Exposure to food contaminants differed between education groups, but was not above safe levels, except for acrylamide and aflatoxin B1. For these substances, a health risk could not be excluded for all education groups. These insights may be used in policy measures focusing on the improvement of a healthy diet for all.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2057-2067
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume23
Issue number12
Early online date8 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • 24-h recall
  • Educational level
  • Environmentally sustainable food
  • Food consumption
  • Food safety
  • Healthy food

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