Diet & Income

Although the causes of our health and food crisis are complex and multifaceted, study after study confirms that food access and healthy diets are strongly linked to income levels

  • “A large body of epidemiologic data shows that diet quality follows a socioeconomic gradient.  Whereas higher-quality diets are associated with greater affluence, energy-dense diets that are nutrient-poor are…consumed by persons of lower socioeconomic status and of more limited economic means.” American Society for Nutrition, 2008.
  • “Higher personal, worksite, and economic barriers to eating fruits and vegetables are reported by workers in service, labor, or paraprofessional occupations compared to those in managerial or professional occupations.” Social Science and Medicine, 2003.
  • “Low economic status is associated with suboptimal intakes of nutritious foods by adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002…Household income is a major economic factor that impacts food choices and nutritional status of individuals.” Nutrition Research, 2003
  • “Socio-economic differences in nutrient intake can be substantially explained by the monetary cost of the diet. The higher cost of more nutritious diets may contribute to socio-economic disparities in health and should be taken into account in the formulation of nutrition and public health policy. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2010
  • “Socioeconomic factors, particularly education and income, are key contributors to diet-related disparities; in fact, it has been suggested that the effects of socioeconomic status on disparities are stronger than those of race and ethnicity. Regardless of which characteristic might be a stronger contributor, the importance of socioeconomic factors cannot be overstated. For example, level of education impacts knowledge of dietary recommendations and which foods are healthy versus less healthy, while income affects whether a person can afford to purchase healthy foods.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009.
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