Lifestyle of adolescents in Roumanian Southeastern Region

Mariana Stuparu Cretu, Gabriel Talaghir, Alina Plesea, Camelia Busila

Keywords: adolescents, nutritional habits, physical activity, obesity

Experts from different fields, have a general concern to find out the best ways to stop the growing of obesity worldwide. To prevent its occurrence is the best way in the management of certain important noncommunicable diseases: metabolic, cardiovascular, rheumatological, oncological, depressive. The best approach is considered to early educate the young generation for a healthy lifestyle.

Research questions:
To evaluate the correlations between weight status, physical activities and food preferences of students in southeastern Romania

The questionnaires applied to high school students in Galați were analyzed: 1006 girls and 880 boys, aged between 14 and 19. Using the Unscramble X program (Camo, Norway), multiple variables were assessed: age, body mass index, nutritional habits and physical activity, depending on gender.

With a statistical correlation of over 86% for 99% of cases, girls have a general preference for sweet foods, nighttime consumption associated with computer work and reduced physical activity time. A percentage of normal-weight girls consumes high-calorie foods and predisposes this group to turn into cases of overweight in time. The boys statistics show a positive correlation of almost 87% for over 96% of cases in preferences for high-calorie foods, fast-food, sweet juices and low physical activity. Overweight and obesity are present in less than one-fifth of adolescents surveyed.

Although adolescents in the study group are generally sedentary and have poor nutritional habits, the frequency of obesity and overweight are below the statistical average of Eastern Europe. The involvement of GPs in the education and monitoring of young people promotes an early understanding of the difference between food and nutrients as well as the benefits of physical activities, integrated into a healthy lifestyle. The authors consider it useful to adapt nutrition education to new methods of food processing, market demand and increase sedentary jobs.

Points for discussion:
changing the eating behavior by increasing the consumption of semi-prepared or overprocessed foods

increasing sedentary lifestyle during the pandemic