Quality of nutrition and diet is influenced by the consumer’s financial resources, reveals a study funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Some immigrants have a healthier diet than people born in Switzerland.
People with a higher level of education have dietary habits that are closest to the Mediterranean diet, which helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. This is the conclusion of the study – the first of its kind in Switzerland – conducted by Pedro Marques-Vidal and his team at the CHUV (Centre Hospitalier universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne University Hospital).
The dietary habits of more than 4,000 inhabitants of Lausanne were evaluated in respect of three criteria. The first corresponds to the Greek Mediterranean diet, based on cereals, vegetables, fruit and fish. The second is a variant that includes dairy products, in order to reflect the habits of Swiss consumers. The third is an index of healthy diets, the “Alternative Healthy Eating Index”, which is used in the USA to evaluate the quality of nutrition of people with low incomes.
Lifestyle and country of origin
The study, forming part of the National Research Programme “Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production” (NRP 69), has found that the lifestyle of participants in the study influences their dietary behaviour. Those who are overweight, as well as smokers and people who lead sedentary lifestyles often eat less healthily. In contrast, older participants and those living together as a couple pay greater attention to the quality of their food.
Participants’ country of origin has also been revealed as a factor. “Despite occupying a relatively low socio-economic level, residents from Italy, Portugal and Spain have retained their Mediterranean dietary habits and eat more healthily than people born in France and Switzerland,” explains Pedro Marques-Vidal.
Action on prices
Other studies had demonstrated that less well-off consumers reduce the amount of healthy food they buy in favour of less expensive foodstuffs, which often provide lower nutritional quality. A higher level of education generally corresponds with more comfortable income levels, which allow consumers to buy more healthy foods.
According to research conducted in New Zealand and Australia, cutting prices is more effective in encouraging the purchase of fruit and vegetables than educational measures. According to Pedro Marques-Vidal, “special offers for fruit and vegetables that are reaching their sell-by date would be an example of a measure that could encourage changes in dietary behaviour.”
Studying the hearts of Lausanne
This research relates to the Lausanne Cohort (CoLaus), which studies the causes of cardiovascular diseases. Funded entirely by the Swiss National Science Foundation, CoLaus addresses the health and lifestyles of almost 7,000 inhabitants of Lausanne in order to develop new preventive and therapeutic measures.
(*)P. Marques-Vidal, G. Waeber., P. Vollenweider, M. Bochud, S. Stringhini, I. Guessous (2015) Sociodemographic and Behavioural Determinants of a Healthy Diet in Switzerland. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism online: doi:10.1159/000437393
(Available for journalists as a PDF file from the SNSF: email@example.com)
Prof. Pedro Manuel Marques-Vidal
Biology and Medical Faculty
Rue du Bugnon 21
Tel.: +41 (0) 79 439 99 17
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Media - Abteilung Kommunikation | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy