Can A Person's Level of Education Influence Nutrition?

People with a lower level of education or low purchasing power tend to consume more processed foods. Learn more in the following article.
Can A Person's Level of Education Influence Nutrition?

Last update: 26 August, 2021

Education has a major impact when it comes to nutrition. In this article, we’ll see how the socioeconomic level and level of education influence the quality of food.

Lack of knowledge and low purchasing power, which sometimes go hand in hand, can lead individuals to ignore the risks of overconsumption of certain types of food.

The rich consume more superfoods

A study published in The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that the wealthy are more likely to consume superfoods. This may be due to two different reasons:

  1. First, there’s social pressure.
  2. Another reason is that they’re aware that nutrient-rich foods are essential to ensuring good health.

Individuals with a high level of education and favorable economic conditions tend to buy foods that are organic, fresh, and lower in sugars and trans fats. These people are more careful when it comes to food and tend to be more concerned about their diets.

Level of education influences diet

Level of education and socioeconomic level can influence the quality of food that people consume. This is demonstrated by an article published in the journal Nutrients. In this research, belonging to a community with a lower educational level is related to a higher consumption of foods rich in sugars and trans fats.

Therefore, both educational level and socioeconomic level have an influence on diet. Most dietary habits are instilled during adolescence. Therefore, conveying the importance of eating properly is part of the educational process.

Routines are much more difficult to assimilate in adulthood, especially those having to do with food. For this reason, for example, it’s difficult for a person who’s never eaten fish in their life to start doing so after a certain age.

Food education is fundamental and, although any individual is susceptible to receive it, it’s easier to implement good habits in childhood.

A healthy dinner of chicken breast, avocado, quinoa, and cherry tomatoes.

The importance of a healthy diet

Maintaining correct eating habits influences health in a very decisive way, especially in the medium and long term. For this reason, experts recommend reducing the intake of ultra-processed foods, which are rich in trans fats and sugars.

It’s also important to prioritize the consumption of fresh products, with a lower caloric density and higher nutritional value. This type of food contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants essential for the proper functioning of the body. Including them in your diet on a regular basis delays aging and reduces the risk of developing complex diseases.

There are people who are well aware of the harmful effects of the overconsumption of processed foods, but they can’t afford to buy fresh products because of their higher price.

A belly full of healthy foods compared to a larger belly full of junk food.

Our level of education is linked to food and health

As we’ve seen, a person’s level of education is closely related to the quality of food they consume.

People from higher socioeconomic strata tend to eat better. On many occasions, they have access to healthier foods because they have the necessary knowledge and economic conditions. Other times, they do so only as a means of distinguishing themselves socially.

In any case, it’s important to instill good dietary habits in the population. This is especially important in children and adolescents, as it’ll be easier for them to acquire them during this period than in adulthood.

Remember that eating a healthy and balanced diet reduces the risk of getting sick considerably. It’s crucial to reduce the consumption of ultra-processed products and increase the intake of fresh foods.

Fresh foods have a lower caloric density but a higher nutritional content. The supply of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants reduces the risk of obesity and of developing complex diseases in the medium and long term.

Unfortunately, good nutrition may not come cheap. For this reason, not everyone has access to this possibility. Seeing a nutritionist can be a way to optimize your diet so that it’s as balanced and adequate as possible within your economic possibilities.

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  • Livingstone KM., Olstad DL., Leech RM., Ball K., et al., Socioeconomic inequities in diet quality and nutrient intakes among australian adults: findings from a nationally representative cross sectional study. Nutrients, 2017.
  • Groeniger JO., Van Lenthe FJ., Beenackers MA., et al., Does social distinction contribute to socioeconomic inequalities in diet: the case of ‘superfoods’ consumption. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 2017.