Eating habits, lifestyle factors, and body weight status among Turkish private educational institution students

Ayranci U., Erenoglu N., Son O.

Nutrition, vol.26, no.7-8, pp.772-778, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 7-8
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.07.007
  • Journal Name: Nutrition
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.772-778
  • Keywords: Adolescents, Body mass index, Cross-sectional study, Dietary behavior, Sociodemographic
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: No


Objective: The purposes of this study were to assess the prevalence of underweight, overweight, and obesity and to evaluate the effects of eating habits, lifestyle, and sociodemographic characteristics on students' weight. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out from February to May 2008 in the city of Eskisehir, western Turkey. A total of 2258 students 15-20 y of age (1137 boys and 1121 girls) were examined. The questionnaires, including items related to eating habits, lifestyle, and sociodemographic characteristics, were completed by the students. The data were evaluated using chi-square test and percent ratios. In addition, Student's t test for means and reliability analysis was employed to test the reliability of the questionnaire scale. Differences were considered statistically significant at P < 0.05. Results: About 70% of the students (69.9%) were of normal weight; more than one-fourth (25.7%) were underweight; and 4.4% were overweight/obese students, with just 0.6% being obese (n = 14). According to 21 of the 29 items in the questionnaire found to be positively significant, girls had more accurate habits than boys (13 versus 7 items, respectively). Compared with those underweight or of normal weight, the proportion of those overweight/obese was smaller for those having milk or juice at breakfast (P < 0.05), special meals prepared at least once daily at home (P < 0.05), and not selecting fast food such as hamburgers at meals (P < 0.01). Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the prevalence of overweight and obesity is much lower than the prevalence of underweight in Turkish school-based adolescents, important data that merit consideration. Health professionals, teachers, and family environment may play a key role in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.