NUTRITION LITERACY, DIETARY HABITS AND FOOD LABEL USE AMONG TURKISH ADOLESCENTS

Main Article Content

GÜLAY YILMAZEL
Serpil BOZDOGAN

Keywords

nutrition, literacy, dietary habits, food labelling, adolescents

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the nutrition literacy, dietary habits and food label use among Turkish adolescents.


Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Çorum city between March and May 2019 with adolescents (n = 307). The data were collected with a questionnaire consisting of 51 items. In the first phase of the questionnaire, adolescents' socio-demographic characteristics, dietary habits, health behaviors (physical activity, smoking) and food label use were questioned. In the second phase adolescent nutrition literacy scale was used to measure nutrition literacy. Data were analyzed by using SPSS 17.0 program. In analysis percentage, average, independent t test and One-Way Anova (Post-hoc Tukey) test. P <0.05 value was considered statistically significant.


Results: In this study, adolescents received 70,31±8,66 score out of the total score of 110. It was determined that nutrition literacy was influenced by socio-demographic characteristics and health behaviors of adolescents. This effect was found to be significant in terms of age, gender, education level of the mother, regular sports and BMI (p<0.05). Only one third of students consumed daily water adequately (≥8 glass) and when the daily water consumption increased, nutrition literacy increased (p<0.05). Fast food consumption had a significant effect on nutrition literacy (p<0.05). Nutrition literacy was higher among mostly food label users (p<0.05). Nutrition literacy was found to be significantly higher among the utilizers health care workers as a nutrition source (p<0.05).


Conclusion: In our study, nutrition literacy was moderate among adolescents. The use of the food label was not at the desired level. The dietary habits and food label use of had a significant effect on nutrition literacy. Extension of epidemiological studies, public health efforts with the school health programs in cooperation with the multi-sectorial could be an important keystone in increasing nutrition literacy in adolescence.

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