An investigation of young adults (18-35 years) eating habits in relation to BMI and diet quality, and the relationship between eating habits at adolescent and young adulthood
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Aim: To investigate eating habits of young adults (18-35 years) in relation to BMI and diet quality and to compare it to the relationship between their eating habits in adolescence. Background: The causes of obesity are complex. With increasing prevalence it is the largest health risk factor in the UK and is closely related to nutrition related non-communicable diseases (NR-NCD). This investigation will explore the complexity of obesity, focussing on dietary patterns as a young adult. It will investigate the impact of dietary habits in adolescent years, the importance of diet quality on BMI, the importance of knowledge of portion sizes and the effect of physical activity on dietary patterns. Method: Google Docs was used to produce a questionnaire. The questions related to anthropometrics, dietary habits and physical activity levels, including a short FFQ. The criteria were individuals aged 18-35. The questionnaire received 31 respondents. Data was tabulated and statistical analysis was calculated using SPSS Statistics 2.0. Results: 80.6% of participants were female and 61.3% of participants were within a healthy BMI range of 18.6-24.9. 75% of participants that reported to eat more fruit and vegetables and 76.8% of participants that reported to prepare more meals at adulthood ate with their family at adolescence. A higher frequency of sweet consumption was also found amongst people who monitor their weight and have dieted. No significant difference found in mean BMI in those who snack (23.3) and those who do not (23.7). There was also no significant difference in mean BMI in those who weigh their portions (25.2) and those who do not (23.2). Students had the lowest BMI (22.7) compared to non-students and socioeconomic groups which may be due to demographic bias. 50% of participants that participate in intense physical activity were more likely to be within the healthy BMI range, and exercise is associated with fruit consumption. Conclusion: Results support past research concluding that dietary habits are established in adolescent years. It also suggests that food and lifestyle choices are associated with BMI. The demographic bias may support that nutritional knowledge leads to a healthier diet. Health promotion interventions targeting adolescence focussing on nutritional knowledge and healthy lifestyle choices may be beneficial.
BSc (Hons) Public Health Nutrition
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