To compare dietary intakes at a 10 y interval of a population aged 35-64 living in France. Trends in nutrient intake and food consumption were examined with a special emphasis on the relationships between educational level and dietary behaviour.
Two independent surveys conducted in 1985-1987 (S1) and 1995-1997 (S2) in the framework of the WHO MONICA project. Dietary intake was assessed with a 3-day record method and a food frequency questionnaire. The samples analysed included 416 men and 446 women for S1, 393 men and 409 women for S2.
A significant improvement of the quality of fat intake was observed between S1 and S2, independently of educational level, with an increase of the age adjusted P/S ratio from 0.42 to 0.50 in men (P=10(-4)) and from 0.41 to 0.50 in women (P=10(-4)), whereas the daily cholesterol intake dropped from 552.0 to 466.9 mg and from 447.2 to 384.6 mg in men and women, respectively (P=10(-4)). These variations were associated with a decrease in the consumption of high-fat foods and an increase in that of low-fat products (poultry, low-fat dairy foods, fish) in all educational classes. By contrast, the consumption of fruit and vegetables, which was highly associated with educational level, varied little over time.
Our results indicate slight improvement in fat quality, independently of educational level, while fruit and vegetable intake, which appeared more dependent on educational level, was only poorly modified over the 10 y interval.