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Nutrition, lifestyle factors, and mental health in adolescents and young adults living in Austria

Nutrition, lifestyle factors, and mental health in adolescents and young adults living in Austria

International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 26(3): 377-386

Due to an alarming trend of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents, along with the sparse data on dietary habits and lifestyle factors, the present study aims to analyze the current nutritional behavior as well as the lifestyle and mental health of adolescents and young adults living in Austria. In this cross-sectional study, a total of 500 respondents (aged between 14 and 24 years) completed an anonymous questionnaire on nutrition behavior, mental health, and lifestyle factors by Internet survey. Only 50% of the participants ate breakfast daily and 10% did not eat breakfast at all. About 47% of the respondents consumed milk and milk products daily. Furthermore, only 31% ate fruit and 21% ate vegetables at least once a day, and 46% ate fish seldom or never. Nearly 28% of young people liked to eat fast food twice or thrice a week and more, with males more often replacing a meal with a fast food product (36%) than females (21%). About 46% of the respondents engaged in physical activity only once a week (or more rarely). A fifth of our respondents (23%) spent more than 2 h a day using various social networks, with Facebook being the most popular social network among the respondents. Around 27% claimed to be smokers, with more female (33%) than male (20%) smoker. In terms of sleeping habits, 19% slept <6 h a day. Regarding well-being, 44% were more likely to feel stressed, 35% stated that they were tense, and 43% felt tired and listless. Eating together, physical activity, and sleep patterns showed positive effects on well-being, whereas higher consumption of fast food/snacks/soft drinks and alcoholic drinks/energy drinks was associated with relatively lower well-being. Unhealthy eating habits, suboptimal physical activity, and smoking are still prominent in a sample of Austrian adolescents and young people. In addition, stress and tiredness are also relevant problems in this collective.

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Accession: 054693672

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24803606

DOI: 10.1515/ijamh-2013-0310

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