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J Med Assoc Thai. 2005 Nov;88 Suppl 3:S240-6.

Dietary behaviors and nutritional status of adolescents in a remote rural area of Thailand.

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  • 1Department of Military and Community Medicine, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand.



Nutritional status among adolescents is an important health indicator. The up-to-date information about nutritional status and food consumption pattern in the remote rural area is required for the effective public health intervention in the rural area of the country. The present study aimed to demonstrate the prevalence of malnutrition, eating behavior and nutritional knowledge among secondary school students in a remote rural area in Thailand.


Body weight and height data were collected from 298 secondary school students for nutritional status calculation using the Institute of Nutrition Research, Mahidol University, INMU-Thaigrowth program. Eating behavior and nutritional knowledge were observed by self-administrated questionnaires.


The prevalence low height-for-age (<-2SD) 6.1% and it was 0.7% for low weight-for-height (<-2SD). Fruits (69%) and vegetables (79.4%) consumptions were in the high level. The authors found that the students always consumed commercial snacks especially salted chips more often than regular Thai dessert (74.0% VS 52.3%). The inappropriate behavior found in the present study included always drinking caffeine beverage (43.5%), always drinking alcoholic beverage (6.5%) and always consuming instant noodles (64.4%).


The prevalence of malnutrition was low among this population. The studied population had a fair knowledge about nutrition. The authoes found that regular consumption of highly commercialized snack products especially salted chips and instant noodles were at a high level in this remote rural area of Thailand. The pattern of nutritional problems in Thailand may have changed in which a public health program for children in rural areas of the country should recognize this transition.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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