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Diet and Nutrition Habits Among Adolescents
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Dieting & Weight Study of Adolescents

Diet Study Aim
To estimate the prevalence of dieting and the relationship between dieting, nutritional habits, and health among young adolescents in the Netherlands.

Diet Study Methods
Out of 1359 secondary school children, aged 13 through 15 years, who were invited for a routine health assessment by school doctors or nurses as part of the Child Health Monitoring System, 1279 (94%) responded and data were analyzed.

Diet Study Results
Among secondary school children 13% of girls and 5% of boys were dieting at the time of the health assessment. Half of the dieting pupils were at risk of overweight, while the other half were within the normal weight range. The mean preferred weight of the dieting pupils was not lower than the mean actual weight of the non-dieting pupils. Dieting pupils skipped meals more often and consumed less sweets and salty snacks, soft drinks and bread than non-dieting pupils. School absence due to illness was relatively high in dieting boys, and medicine use was high in dieting girls.

Diet Study Conclusion
As in other Western countries, dieting is a common practice among young adolescents in the Netherlands, especially in girls. 'Unhealthy' dietary practices, like skipping breakfast, are already present at early age, therefore preventive programs should be targeted at young adolescents.

Source: International Journal of Obesity

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