FNS  Vol.3 No.3 , March 2012
Relationship between Socio-Demographic Factors and Eating Practices in a Multicultural Society
ABSTRACT
There is currently a dearth of information pertaining to socio-demographic factors and eating practices in a multicultural country like Mauritius. This study was therefore undertaken to probe the different eating practices among an adult sample population in Mauritius in an endeavor to establish significant relationships, if any, with common socio-demographic and socio-economic factors. A self-designed questionnaire, (randomly distributed to n = 387 adults), pertaining to socio-demographic variables, vegetarianism, breakfast patterns, eating out of home meals (OHMs), food frequency questions and dieting practices were asked. Males (21 - 40 yrs) had a significantly (p < 0.05) higher consumption of OHM at lunch. Higher mean frequencies of consuming OHMs were found amid specific groups (e.g. amongst professionals as compared to each of manual workers, unemployed, retired and self-employed) which also depicted significantly lower percentages of adhesion to the WHO recommended daily intake of vegetables. Oily foods were frequently consumed by males (41 - 60 yrs) whereas none of the socio-demographic factors assessed revealed a significant relationship (p > 0.05) to adherence to the recommendations for the consumption of fish. The socio-demographic factors most influential towards eating practices were gender, age and socio-economic status represented by education and occupation. In conclusion, relationships recorded in the present study were comparable to Western eating practices and the availability of certain foods has compelled Mauritians to develop its own and unique eating patterns which can be of relevance in providing accurate health targets for future nutrition interventions in Mauritius.

Cite this paper
S. Krige, F. Mahomoodally, A. Subratty and D. Ramasawmy, "Relationship between Socio-Demographic Factors and Eating Practices in a Multicultural Society," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2012, pp. 286-295. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.33042.
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