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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2010 May-Jun;42(3):144-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2008.12.004. Epub 2010 Jan 18.

Food consumption patterns of Nigerian adolescents and effect on body weight.

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  • 1Department of Family, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria.



Association between nutritional status of adolescents and food consumption pattern.


Data on number of meals and snacks consumed daily were collected using structured questionnaires. Nutritional status was assessed as weight-for-age body mass index score less than fifth percentile of the National Center for Health Statistics/World Health Organization International Growth Reference.


Cross-sectional studies of adolescents using multistage random sampling procedure.


401 adolescents from 32 secondary schools in Osun State, Nigeria.


Frequency counts, percentages, and cross-tabulation analysis were used to analyze data, analysis of variance was used to test the differences, as well as chi-square analysis. Level of significance was taken at .05 and .01 levels.


66.1% of adolescents ate 3 meals daily; this percentage was higher among rural (75.4%) than urban (61.4%) children (P < .001). About 33.0% consumed snacks daily but to a varying degree, which was higher among urban than rural adolescents (P = .002). Prevalence of underweight was 20.1%, more common in rural (22.1%) than urban adolescents (18.7%). Underweight prevalence was highest among those who ate 3 meals and no snacks daily (28.6%) and least among those who ate 3 meals and snacks twice daily (15.9%).


Snacks are important in food consumption among adolescents; when snacks are consumed in addition to 3 meals, they will improve the nutritional status of adolescents.

Copyright 2010 Society for Nutrition Education. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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