Dietary habits in Greek middle school students according to gender

Authors J. K. Triantafillidis, A. Papadopoulou, E Stamatopoulou, E. M. Delicha, A. Gikas, P. Froudakis, E. Galakou.


The dietary habits of 374 healthy Greek students aged
between 12 and 15 years were investigated. Subjects and
Methods: There were 185 male and 189 female students
(6th Gymnasium of Nicea), of mean age 13.5 and 13.6
years respectively, residents of an area of approximately
150,000 inhabitants of low to moderate socioeconomic
level. Dietary habits were evaluated using a specially formulated
questionnaire, which included various items
referring to dietetic habits, as well as questions related
to educational and social status of the students family.
Body Mass Index was also calculated for each subject.
Results: The results showed that milk was the main constituent
of the breakfast in 228 students (60.3%). Sugar
was added in the milk by only 17% of cases. Four percent
of the students consume fruit during the breaks and 55%
eat mainly cheese. Fifty-six percent consume fruit or fruit
juices during the day. Only 5.8% of them eat bread rich
in fiber. Eighty three per cent of the total population of
students eats one or more kinds of pulses, at least once
a week, while the corresponding figures for meat and fish
were 84.1% and 73.6% respectively. Most of the students
very often eat different kinds of candies. Consumption
of different kinds of beverages or refreshments (including
varius cola liquids) was reported by 27.5% of them.
Male students described meat consumption less frequently
than female students (P<0.002). The majority of students (58.2%) have their meals prepared by their
parents and most of them (68%) were informed about
the various aspects of the so-called healthy diet by their
parents and/or teachers. Significant differences in the
proportion of female students being above or under normal
Body Mass Index limit were found (P=0.007). Conclusion:
It is concluded that the dietetic habits of students
in this particular area of Greece include some elements
of the traditional Mediterranean diet. Generally
there were no significant differences between boys and
girls as far as the kinds of food consumption were concerned.
Key words: Mediterranean diet, Diet, Greece, Students, Dietary
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