European Journal of Clinical Nutrition vol:63 issue:11 pages:1290-1296
OBJECTIVES: The aim of our research was to describe cultural, socioeconomic and nutritional determinants associated with functional food consumption. METHODS: Cross-sectional design in 5000 military men. Using mailed questionnaires, the functional food consumption frequency was recorded. RESULTS: Margarines fortified with phytosterols or phytostanols were used on a daily basis by 26.3% of the responders. Only 4.7% took a daily portion of probiotics, whereas 14.0% consumed one or more portions of nuts a week. One man out of three consumed one cup of tea daily, whereas 10.2% consumed one glass of red wine daily. Three or more portions of fruit a day were consumed by 19.1%, and two or more portions of vegetables a day by 26.6%. Only 12.3% consumed a portion of fatty fish weekly. After adjustment for age, body mass index, physical activity, use of vitamin supplements, smoking, marital status, cultural background, educational and income level, the daily consumption of fortified margarines increased with age. The consumption of fermented dairy products increased with physical activity and with the use of vitamin supplements. The consumption of fortified margarines, nuts, tea and fatty fish was strongly influenced by cultural background, with higher consumptions for Flemish-speaking men compared with French-speaking persons. Daily consumption of red wine was higher in French-speaking men and in higher educated men. Finally, functional food consumption was associated with a healthy dietary pattern. CONCLUSION: Age, physical activity, level of education, use of vitamin supplements and cultural background are predictors of functional food consumption patterns.