Dietary Habits and Physical Activity of 18-Year-Old Adolescents in Relation to Overweight and Obesity

  • Magdalena ZALEWSKA Department of Public Health, Medical University of Bialystok, Szpitalna 37, 15-295 Bialystok, Poland
  • Elżbieta MACIORKOWSKA Department of Developmental Medicine and Pediatric Nursing, Medical University of Bialystok, Szpitalna 37, 15-295 Bialystok, Poland
Keywords: Adolescents, Nutrition status, Diet, Physical activity, Sedentary behaviors


Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlations between the nutritional status, nutritional habits, and physical activity in the representative population of 18-year-old students. Methods: A total of 1,631 participants aged 18 years, originating from secondary schools/senior high schools in the city of Bialystok, Szpitalna, Bialystok, Poland were enrolled. Participants completed anonymous questionnaires, and their body mass index was assessed. Data were analyzed using standard statistical procedures with Statistical PL 12.0. Results: The analysis showed that consumption of only one to two or three meals was associated with an increased risk of overweight and obesity—in case of one or two meals among girls, OR=1.78 (P<0.05), in case of one or two meals among boys, OR=2.325 (P<0.01), and in case of three meals, OR=1.771 (P<0.05). First breakfast was consumed by 82.1% of boys with normal BMI and 73.1% overweight and obesity (OR=0.593; P<0.05). 24.5% of the eutrophic compared to only 20.3% of adolescents with elevated BMI reported attending all PE classes. Physical activity undertaken after school was associated with a 35.9% decrease risk of overweight and obesity among girls and 57.7% among boys. Conclusion: A specific pattern of nutritional habits, that is, decreased meal frequency in adolescents, skipping meals, appear the most frequent nutritional mistakes associated with overweight and obesity. Insufficient physical activity and exposure to sedentary behaviors among adolescents are disturbing. The obesity problem requires monitoring, prevention and the change of nutritional habits and physical activity early in childhood.  


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How to Cite
ZALEWSKA M, MACIORKOWSKA E. Dietary Habits and Physical Activity of 18-Year-Old Adolescents in Relation to Overweight and Obesity. Iran J Public Health. 48(5):864-872.
Original Article(s)