A Comparative Study on Dietary Pattern and their Associated Factors among the Rural and Urban School Going Adolescents

V Shiyam, N Nishanthini, R Niranjjan, A Lokeshmaran


Background: Adolescence period has ranking of various problems of which nutritional problem stands first. Practice of having westernized dietary pattern makes our traditional dietary pattern to disappear, which has greater impact on school going adolescents which influences their growth and affects their quality of life. Objectives: The objectives of the study were to assess the dietary pattern and its associated factors among school going adolescents in rural and urban areas of Puducherry. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted from June 2019 to August 2019. School students from 6th to 12th standard were selected by multistage random sampling method. A semi structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. Food frequency questionnaire was used to assess skipping pattern of meals. Data were analyzed by SPSS version 20. Results: Of 1350 students, 60% were males. Almost everyone has mixed type of dietary pattern. The majority (45%) of urban school students skipping meals compared to rural school (34%) students. Breakfast is commonly skipped at least 3 times a week mainly due to time concern. Consumption of oil foods and packed foods was comparatively higher among urban students. Students of high school, government school, and below middle school education of mother were independently associated with skipping of meals. Conclusion: Breakfast was the most common meal skipped among rural and urban students. Breakfast skipping is a predisposing factor for diabetes and other metabolic syndromes. Consumption of packed food and oily food items was practiced more among urban school children which may lead to many important health issues. There is a need for policies and programs to inculcate the importance of healthy eating habits not only to educate the school children but also to educate the mothers which eventually helps in better health and scholastic performance.

Keywords: Dietary pattern, school going adolescents

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