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Dietary Intake and Nutrition-Related Knowledge in a Sample of Lebanese Adolescents of Contrasting Socioeconomic Status
- Nabhani-Zeidan, Maya, Naja, Farah, Nasreddine, Lara
- adolescents, adults, ascorbic acid, cross-sectional studies, eating habits, energy, females, food intake, interviews, iron, linear models, lipids, males, meat, nutrient intake, nutrition knowledge, oils, questionnaires, socioeconomic status, vegetables, vitamin A, Lebanon
- Socioeconomic status (SES) is postulated to be a major predictor of dietary intake and nutrition-related knowledge in adults. To date, very few studies have addressed this effect among adolescents. To explore differences in nutrient intake and nutrition-related knowledge among adolescents of contrasting SES in Lebanon. In a cross-sectional survey, 209 males and females, aged 17 to 19 years, were recruited from a private university with high tuition and a free public university in Beirut. The participants completed a multicomponent, self-administered questionnaire that inquired about demographic characteristics and nutrition-related knowledge. Three nonconsecutive 24-hour dietary recalls were obtained through interviews. Energy-adjusted means of dietary intake and age-adjusted nutrition-related knowledge were compared between groups using a general linear model. Adolescents in the high-SES group consumed more vegetables, meats, and fats and oils (p < .05). Energy and nutrient intake analysis showed that adolescents in the high-SES group consumed significantly higher amounts of calories, protein, fat, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron (p <.001) and significantly lower amounts of carbohydrates (p < .05). Nutritional knowledge, although high among all participants, was higher in the high-SES group (p < .05). Although both groups showed good nutrition-related knowledge, SES significantly affected dietary intake in a sample of Lebanese adolescents. This warrants consideration of other factors, such as cost and environment, that may modulate eating behavior among adolescents from different socioeconomic strata.