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Associations of socioeconomic factors with inadequate dietary intake in food aid users in France (The ABENA study 2004–2005)

A Corrigendum to this article was published on 07 April 2010



Few studies in Europe have examined the relationship of sociodemographic and economic factors with diet in deprived populations. We analysed the association between socioeconomic characteristics and consumption of different food groups in food aid users.


A cross-sectional study was conducted among food aid users in four urban French zones (n=1664). Associations of sociodemographic and economic factors and food aid use with frequency of consumption of the main food groups were tested using multivariate logistic regression models accounting for sampling weights.


Both migrant status and consumption of fewer than three daily meals were associated with risk of low frequency of starchy food consumption (<3 times per day). Migrant status was also associated with low frequency of consumption of fruits and vegetables (<3.5 times per day) and dairy products (<2 times per day). Subjects with severe food insufficiency were more likely to be low consumers of fruits and vegetables, meat, seafood and eggs (<1 time per day), and dairy products. A low monthly food budget, temporary housing in a shelter and no source of household income were all associated with risk of low frequency of seafood consumption (<2 times per week). Finally, duration of food aid use, type of food aid distribution and perception of poor health status were associated with low consumption of meat, seafood and eggs.


Economic level and other social characteristics were associated with an unhealthy diet within this deprived French population.

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We thank French associations involved in food aid for their kind cooperation. We are grateful to the Social Security Health Examination Centres and their laboratories in Bobigny, Paris, Dijon and Marseille, the ‘Département de Biologie intégrée’ at Grenoble University Hospital and the ‘Unité Neuromédiateurs et Vitamines’ at Dijon University Hospital for their contribution to data collection. This study was supported by the Institut de Veille Sanitaire (InVS), France.

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Correspondence to C Méjean.

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Méjean, C., Deschamps, V., Bellin-Lestienne, C. et al. Associations of socioeconomic factors with inadequate dietary intake in food aid users in France (The ABENA study 2004–2005). Eur J Clin Nutr 64, 374–382 (2010).

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  • food aid
  • food supply
  • dietary behaviour
  • socioeconomic discrepancies
  • deprived population

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