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Evaluation of diets of young people aged 13-15 from rural areas in Karpatian province in terms of diet-related disease risk in adulthood

Author(s): Diana Wolańska

Journal: Polish Gastroenterology
ISSN 1232-9886

Volume: 18;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 141;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: nutritional behavior | food consumption | children and teenagers | nutrition dependent diseases

Introduction: The proper eating habits are the essential elements of recommended prohealthy lifestyle. Establishing healthy eating habits in childhood and adolescence is essential to young people's dental and general health in the future. Both nutritional deficiency and excess may lead to dietrelated diseases which impair the population health condition. Aim of the study: The aim of this study was the evaluation of dietary habits in regard to dietary recommendations in the adolescents, aged 13-15 living in the rural region of south-eastern Poland. Material and methods: The examinations were performer on 110 youth, aged from 13 to 15 years, living in the region of south-eastern Poland (in the municipality Bukowsko).The research tool was an anonymous questionnaire that included information about the number of meals during the day, data pertaining to meal frequency, size, contents and composition. Data obtained with 24-hour questionnaire method were calculated with computer program Dieta 2.0 and compared with dietary recommendations for young people aged 13-15. Results: Our results show many dietary errors, such as long breaks between meals and irregularity of daily meals. Consumption of min. 4 meals per day on weekdays and holidays was declared by 41% and 64% of the patients, respectively. It is alarming that the intake of milk and dairy products remains insufficient - milk consumed only 42% of the young people. Fermented milk beverages rarely were considered in the diet - daily yogurt or kefir chose only 23% and 6%, respectively. The results indicate that adolescents consume too little vegetables and fruits. Very worrying in terms of risk of developing diet-related diseases was excessive consumption of fruit juices and sweet beverages, which are daily consumed 68% and 32% respondents. We noticed an increasing tendency to snacking between main meals, especially sweets and crisps. We observed a high prevalence of children with nutritional deficiencies. We found also deficiencies of vitamins - most children did not meet recommendations for vitamins D and C as well as folate. Intake of mineral components was very low, especially calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper. Significant excess of dietary intake of sodium was found in all respondents. Conclusions: Nutrition study group of young people aged 13-15 years deviate from the principles of healthy nutrition. Perpetuate the existing incorrect dietary behavior may result in the continuation of their adulthood, and consequently adversely affect the normal development and health in present and future. The study demonstrated that there are significant deviations from the optimal recommendations for the intake of nutrients in adolescents. Results suggest a potential need for nutrition education for youth of secondary schools.

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