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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

Print version ISSN 1137-6627


PALENZUELA PANIAGUA, S.M. et al. Food consumption patterns among adolescents. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2014, vol.37, n.1, pp.47-58. ISSN 1137-6627.

Background. Adolescence is a critical time for the establishment of healthy eating habits. The objective was to analyze food consumption patterns among adolescents and their relationship with family and social factors. Methods. Multicentre observational cross-sectional descriptive study using a food frequency questionnaire for the last week. It was answered anonymously. The adolescent's age/gender, parents' studies/occupation and school's location/type were included. The population sample was composed of 1,095 adolescents in sixth grade at primary schools from an Andalusian region. They were chosen by polietapic random sampling that distinguished between public/private and capital/provincial schools. Results. 1,005 surveys were analyzed. The mean age is 11.45 (SD: 0.59). Fifty-three percent were male. The intake of dairy products (only two-thirds taken daily), pasta, fruit and vegetables (daily consumption of 30%) is deficient. Sixty-four point five percent consume legumes weekly. Fish consumption is equal to meat, with a preference for poultry. More than half consume red meat daily. Olive oil is preferred. The intake of «empty calories» (fast food, candies, soft drink) is high. Through multivariate analysis the existence of clusters of healthy and unhealthy foods, related to the social status of the parents and the type of school, is proved. Conclusions. A healthy diet based on the nutritional pyramid is not the consumption pattern in the adolescents surveyed. There is a low consumption of diary products, legumes, fruits and vegetables. There is a relationship between the social class of the family and consumption patterns (healthy and unhealthy). Health strategies are needed to modify such inappropriate consumption.

Keywords : Adolescent; Dietary habits; Nutrition survey; Social class; Nutritional requirements.

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