Nutrition-related habits of Greek adolescents

M. Yannakoulia, D. Karayiannis, M. Terzidou, A. Kokkevi, L. S. Sidossis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate nutrition-related habits of Greek school-aged adolescents. Design: Epidemiological survey. Setting and subjects: The study was part of the Health Behavior in School Aged Children (HBSC) survey. A representative sample of school-aged adolescents aged 11.5, 13.5, and 15.5 y was obtained. The final sample consisted of 4211 students (51.6% girls and 48.4% boys). They were asked to complete a translated form of the international HBSC questionnaire, including several thematic entities. The Unhealthy Food Choices Score (UFCS) was devised in order to evaluate the overall quality of reported eating habits of respondents; the higher the score, the lower the diet quality. Results: Among all students surveyed, 14.7% were reported to be on a diet to lose weight (girls: 19.5%; boys: 9.7%; P < 0.001), and 22.9% were dissatisfied with their body weight but not on a diet. Girls were found to have lower UFCS values compared to boys (24.7 ± 4.6 vs 24.1 ± 4.5, P < 0.001). Girls dissatisfied with their weight, but not on a diet, showed the highest UFCS values compared to both those on a diet and those not on a diet. TV viewing was positively associated with the consumption of sodas, crisps, cakes and pastries, and sweets and chocolates. Conclusions: Dieting is becoming a major problem, especially among older girls. The findings of this study suggest that eating habits of Greek school-aged adolescents are in the process of changing from more traditional to more Westernized ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-586
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Dieting
  • Eating habits
  • Food choices
  • Greece
  • Mediterranean region
  • TV viewing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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