Sociodemographic characteristics and frequency of consuming home-cooked meals and meals from out-of-home sources: cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study.

22 May 2018

OBJECTIVE: To identify sociodemographic characteristics associated with frequency of consuming home-cooked meals and meals from out-of-home sources. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. Frequency of consuming home-cooked meals, ready meals, takeaways and meals out were derived from a participant questionnaire. Sociodemographic characteristics regarding sex, age, ethnicity, working overtime and socio-economic status (SES; measured by household income, educational attainment, occupational status and employment status) were self-reported. Sociodemographic differences in higher v. lower meal consumption frequency were explored using logistic regression, adjusted for other key sociodemographic variables. SETTING: Cambridgeshire, UK. SUBJECTS: Fenland Study participants (n 11 326), aged 29-64 years at baseline. RESULTS: Eating home-cooked meals more frequently was associated with being female, older, of higher SES (measured by greater educational attainment and household income) and not working overtime. Being male was associated with a higher frequency of consumption for all out-of-home meal types. Consuming takeaways more frequently was associated with lower SES (measured by lower educational attainment and household income), whereas eating out more frequently was associated with higher SES (measured by greater educational attainment and household income) and working overtime. CONCLUSIONS: Sociodemographic characteristics associated with frequency of eating meals from different out-of-home sources varied according to meal source. Findings may be used to target public health policies and interventions for promoting healthier diets and dietary-related health towards people consuming home-cooked meals less frequently, such as men, those with lower educational attainment and household income, and overtime workers.