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Public Health Nutr. 2010 Jun;13(6A):980-6. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010001187.

Quality of diet and food choices of Finnish young men: a sociodemographic and health behaviour approach.

Author information

1
National Institute for Health and Welfare, PO Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland. clarissa.bingham@thl.fi

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Eating habits of Finns have improved dramatically in 40 years. The proportion of fat in the diet has decreased and vegetable and fruit consumption increased. Knowledge of Finnish young men's dietary habits is limited. The aim was to assess food choices and quality of diet among young men and to analyse how background and health behaviour factors explain it.

DESIGN:

In 2007, data on eating habits, sociodemographic background factors and health behaviours of 17-21-year-old men (n 2905) entering military service were collected by self-administrated questionnaire. Two indexes - core food index (CFI) and extra food index (EFI) - were formed to describe daily and redundant snacking-type eating, respectively. Associations of background factors and health behaviours on the indexes were analysed by general linear modelling.

RESULTS:

In all, 13 % consumed fruits and berries daily and 8 % consumed vegetables, whereas 24 % consumed pizza and 19 % consumed hamburgers more than once a week. CFI increased with educational level (P < 0.001) and was explained by background and health behaviour (smoking, physical activity and eating breakfast). EFI was inversely associated with BMI (P < 0.001) and explained by health behaviour: (smoking, physical activity, drinking beer and eating breakfast).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate that in early adulthood, eating habits cluster with other health behaviours among men. In this age group, education is associated with core food but not with extra food eating habits. Furthermore, seasonal variation is seen in both types of eating. When promoting healthy eating, a distinction between core foods and extra foods by using feasible indexes will be helpful in targeting the efforts.

PMID:
20513269
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980010001187
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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