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Problem Statement: The adolescence is a crucial stage between childhood and adulthood during which an individual acquires new qualities and practices including dietary habits that may be influenced by his peers and social circle. Purpose of the study: To determine the dietary habits of adolescents studying in high schools in Konya, Turkey where obesity has been determined to be considerably high. Methods: The population comprised of first year students registered for 2012-2013 academic year at five different high schools selected randomly in Konya. The study included a total of 643 individuals. Data regarding dietary habits of students were collected by means of Adolescent Food Habit Checklist (AFHC) whose validity and reliability studies for Turkish version had been previously published. Means, standard deviation and ANOVA tests were performed for data analysis. Findings and Results: The mean age was 15.18±0.57 years of which 65.2% were males. Body mass index evaluation indicated 51.8% of students were underweight, 39.5% normal and 8.7% overweight. Mean AFHC score of students were calculated as 9.17±3.70. Mean AFHC score obtained by females (9.97±3.67) were significantly higher than males (8.74±3.64) (p<0.01). AFHC scores obtained by overweight students were significantly higher than underweight and normal students (p<0.01). Conclusions and Recommendations: Dietary habits in Turkish adolescents were below optimal level. Higher AFHC scores obtained by overweight students as compared to normal suggested adequate nutritional knowledge is not a decisive factor in determining dietary habits. Proper dietary habits gained at an early age, is important in bringing up healthy generations.
Keywords: Adolescent, dietary habits, body mass index
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