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Nutr Res Pract. 2010 Feb;4(1):51-7. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2010.4.1.51. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

The effects of Internet addiction on the lifestyle and dietary behavior of Korean adolescents.

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1
School of Human Ecology, Nutrition and Dietetics Program, Louisiana Tech University, LA 71272 USA.

Abstract

We performed this study to examine lifestyle patterns and dietary behavior based on the level of Internet addiction of Korean adolescents. Data were collected from 853 Korean junior high school students. The level of Internet addiction was determined based on the Korean Internet addiction self-scale short form for youth, and students were classified as high-risk Internet users, potential-risk Internet users, and no risk Internet users. The associations between the students' levels of Internet addiction and lifestyle patterns and dietary behavior were analyzed using a chi-square test. Irregular bedtimes and the use of alcohol and tobacco were higher in high-risk Internet users than no risk Internet users. Moreover, in high-risk Internet users, irregular dietary behavior due to the loss of appetite, a high frequency of skipping meals, and snacking might cause imbalances in nutritional intake. Diet quality in high-risk Internet users was also worse than in potential-risk Internet users and no risk Internet users. We demonstrated in this study that high-risk Internet users have inappropriate dietary behavior and poor diet quality, which could result in stunted growth and development. Therefore, nutrition education targeting high-risk Internet users should be conducted to ensure proper growth and development.

KEYWORDS:

Internet addiction; adolescents; diet quality; dietary behavior

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