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Przegl Epidemiol. 2012;66(4):713-21.

[Selected eating habits and caries occurrence in adolescents].

[Article in Polish]

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  • 1Zakład Medycyny Wieku Rozwojowego i Pielegniarstwa Pediatrycznego Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Białymstoku.



Normal nutrition is an important element of caries prophylaxis. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of chosen bad eating habits on caries occurrence in adolescents.


The examination was carried out in the group of 367 (68.5% girls and 31.5% boys) pupils of the 3rd year of high schools in Białystok in 2011. Own questionnaire was used for the evaluation of eating habits. Caries intensity (PUW) was assessed by dental examination. To verify statistic hypotheses, the level of significance was estimated at p < 0.05. All calculation was performed with the use of the Statistic programme Statistica 7.0 (StatSoft).


It was stated that 5 meals a day were consumed by 29.4% of examined pupils, 4 meals were eaten by 33.2%, 3 meals--by 31.3%, 2 meals--by 5.4%, and one meal was consumed by 0.5% of pupils. There were 55.3% of pupils who had irregular meals while 24.3% did not eat breakfast and 62.9%--did not have elevenses. Eating between meals was stated in 96.7% of pupils. Sweets consumption was revealed as follows: 16.8% several times a day, 19%--once a day, 40.5%--several times a week, 18.5%--several times a month, 5.2%--rarely or never. "Fast food" was not consumed by 34% of examined pupils while 54.6% consumed such meals several times a month, 10.9%--several times a week, and 0.5%--once a day. Higher level of caries intensity was observed in girls (mean coefficient PUW = 11.3) than in boys (mean coefficient PUW = 10.8). Mean coefficient PUW = 11.5 concerned pupils with consumption of fast food several times a month while PUW = 11.0 in those who consumed it several times a week, and PUW = 10.7 in pupils who eat rarely or never such food. As far as eating sweets, PUW was higher than mean (12.4) in pupils who eat sweets several times a day. Persons who eat between meals were characterized by higher coefficient (PUW = 13.0) as compared to those who eat between meals rarely (PUW = 11.3) and those who do not eat between meals (PUW = 8.9).


(1) Bad eating habits (irregular meals, skipping breakfast, eating between meals as well as overeating sweets) in the developmental age can be a significant caries coefficient in adolescents. 2. High mean coefficient PUW in the examined group of 18-year-old pupils, in relation to abnormal eating habits in the significant percentage of those pupils, indicates the necessity of health education as far as caries prophylaxis is concerned.

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