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Food consumption patterns of adolescents aged 14-16 years in Kolkata, India

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-08-24, 00:00 authored by Neha RathiNeha Rathi, Lynn RiddellLynn Riddell, Tony WorsleyTony Worsley
BACKGROUND: The nutrition transition has brought about rapid changes in the structure of the Indian diet. The replacement of traditional home-cooked meals with ready-to-eat, processed foods has contributed to an increased risk of chronic diseases in urban Indians. Improving the nutrition of Indians by promoting healthy food consumption in early life and in adolescence would help to reduce these health risks. However, little is known about the quality and quantity of foods and beverages consumed by urban Indian adolescents. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the food consumption patterns in a sample of urban Indian adolescents. METHODS: A self-administered, semi-quantitative, 59-item meal-based food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was developed to assess the dietary intake of adolescents over the previous day. A total of 1026 students (aged 14-16 years) attending private, English-speaking schools in Kolkata, India completed the survey. RESULTS: Overall, the adolescents reported poor dietary intakes; over one quarter (30%) reported no consumption of vegetables and 70% reported eating three or more servings of energy-dense snacks, on the previous day. Nearly half of the respondents (45%) did not consume any servings of fruits and 47% reported drinking three or more servings of energy-dense beverages. The mean consumption of food groups in serves/day varied from 0.88 (SD = 1.36) for pulses and legumes to 6.25 (SD = 7.22) for energy-dense snacks. In general, girls had more nutritious dietary intakes than boys. CONCLUSIONS: The Indian adolescents reported poor food consumption patterns, and these findings highlight the need to design effective nutrition promotion strategies to encourage healthy eating in adolescence and targeting food supply and availability.



Nutrition journal



Article number



1 - 12


BioMed Central


London, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, The Authors