Interest in nutrient intake in adolescence has tended to focus on the diets of schoolchildren rather than older teenagers. Among 18 year olds in the Twenty-07 study a relationship was found between dietary habits and socio-economic status, in terms both of parental social class and, more clearly, an individual's labour market position after leaving school. This was particularly apparent in relation to meal frequency: those who were unemployed or for other reasons outside the labour market being least likely to eat all main meals.
Analyses of the 11 to 16/16+ study found that at age 11, boys, children from more deprived areas, and those whose mothers had fewer qualifications tended to have poorer diets. However, there was no evidence that either number of parents in the household or family meals were associated with children's diets, while maternal employment was associated with better diets.
Sweeting H, West P. Dietary habits and children's family lives. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 2005;18:93-7pubmed open access
Sweeting H, Anderson AS, West P. Socio-demographic correlates of dietary habits in mid to late adolescence. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1994;48:736-748pubmed
Anderson AS, Macintyre S, West . Adolescent meal patterns: grazing habits in the West of Scotland. Health Bulletin 1993;51:158-65open access