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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,532
Minerva Pediatrica 2007 June;59(3):191-7
Preadolescents’ nutritional habits: a survey in the secondary schools in Brianza
Pesenti E. 1, Fonte L. 1, Zecca G. 1, Schieppati S. 1, Rossetti E. 1, Piatti A. 1, Lattuada M. 1, Candela A. 1, Valagussa F. 2, Pellai A.3
1 Scuola di Specializzazione in Igiene e Medicina Preventiva dell’Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano
2 Presidente Associazione Brianza per il Cuore
3 Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Microbiologia, Virologia Università di Milano, Milano
Aim. This study was aimed at assessing eating habits among preadolescents living in Brianza, with a special focus on snacking’ and breakfast’ habits.
Methods. The research was carried out in 12 post-primary schools in Brianza and included 802 students attending 43 different classes (49.3% males and 50.7% females; mean age:12.6 years). The research tool was an ad hoc questionnaire administered to the preadolescents attending school on the day of the research. Data were analyzed using program Epi Info 6.
Results. Many students (78.3%) had breakfast in the morning of the questionnaire’s administration. Among those perceiving themselves as overweight, not having breakfast is more common than among others. This information is the opposite of what preadolescents say when enquired about their habit to have “a good breakfast”: only 36.8% of the responders declare that it happens on a daily basis. As to snacking, 18,7% of the students declare to be used to having multiple snacking during the day; during school recess on the day of the survey, 39.9% of respondents declared that they had eaten various industrial snacks, while 27.4% had cakes or fresh bread, 1.2% both of them and 0.6% fruit. On a daily basis, 59.5% report to eat various and different fruits and 62.9% report the same when enquired about vegetables.
Conclusion. Considering the importance of a correct nutrition during developmental age and the importance of the phase of adolescence in establishing permanent nutritional habits that will last life-long, it is thus an educational priority to help preadolescents to choose the best foods for their health and well being.