Purpose: Poor diet quality is an important determinant of obesity and chronic disease risk. A better understanding of social, economic and geographic factors associated with diet quality can inform public health and policy efforts for advancing health equity. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis of 155,331 adult men and women in the American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer Prevention Study-3 examined race/ethnicity, socioeconomic (individual-level education and income), and geographic (metropolitan to rural dwelling, residence in food desert) predictors of poor diet quality, mutually adjusted using multivariable logistic regression models. A diet score reflecting concordance with the 2020 ACS dietary recommendations for cancer prevention based on intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and highly processed foods was calculated from responses to a validated food frequency questionnaire, with scores ranging from 0 (worst) to 12 (best) diet quality, and scores 0-3 representing poor diet quality. Results: All socioeconomic and geographic characteristics assessed were statistically significant, independent predictors of poor diet quality. Compared to White participants, Black participants had a 16% higher likelihood of poor diet quality, while Hispanic/Latino and Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander participants had 16% and 33% lower risk of poor diet quality, respectively. Higher income and education were linearly associated with better diet quality among White participants, but not among other racial/ethnic groups. Even after controlling for other characteristics, non-metropolitan residence was associated with a 61% higher risk of poor diet quality. Additionally, residence in a food desert was associated with a 17% higher risk. All diet score components contributed to disparities observed, particularly red and processed meat and SSBs. Conclusions: Race/ethnicity, socioeconomic and geographic factors independently predicted risk of poor diet quality among a large, diverse adult U.S. population. These findings contribute information to more effectively target behavioral interventions, programs, and policies to improve diet quality for populations at highest risk.

The following are the 15 highest-scoring abstracts from the 2022 ASPO Annual Meeting.