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      The impact of nutrition literacy on the food habits among young adults in Turkey


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          Youth is the crucial stage between childhood and adulthood during which an individual acquires new behavior and practices including dietary habits, that may be influenced by his peers, social circle, nutrition knowledge level and other factors. The increase in awareness of young adults is of special importance from the perspective of health and prevention of obesity related chronic diseases. To measure the nutrition literacy level of university students using the Turkish version of Adolescent Nutrition Literacy Scale (ANLS). We evaluated their food habits using the Adolescent Food Habit Checklist (AFHC) tool and analysed it, if the eating habits were affected by nutrition literacy level.


          A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on randomly selected 276 students studying in the Faculty of Health Sciences of Istanbul Aydin University, Turkey. Data was collected by means of ANLS and AFHC tools by face to face interview method. SPSS statistical sofware (IBM SPSS Statistics 19) was used to analyse the obtained data.


          Participants comprised of 47.1% males and 52.9% females with mean age of 20.0 ± 1.60 years. Mean body mass index (BMI) was determined as 22.4 ± 3.76 (23.6 ± 3.63 males 21.3 ± 3.57 females). Functional, interactive and critical nutritional literacy scores for male participants were 22.49 ± 5.71, 17.45 ± 4.84, and 28.28 ± 7.13 respectively (total 64.98 ± 10.15). For females the values were 24.66 ± 5.13, 20.17 ± 4.28, and 32.20 ± 5.65 (total 69.72 ± 8.59) respectively. For all the three sub-categories of nutrition literacy, the scores acquired by females were significantly higher than males ( P < 0.001). In the AFHC tool, the mean score acquired by males were 9.26 ± 4.18 whereas for females it was 10.37 ± 3.40 significantly higher as compared to males ( P = 0.007).


          The food habits of female participants were better than males; in accordance with their nutrition literacy status. It may be concluded that food habits are influenced by nutrition literacy and therefore stress much be given to increase the nutrition awareness among children youth as well as adults.

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          Most cited references28

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          From Nutrients to Nurturance: A Conceptual Introduction to Food Well-Being

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            The Nuances of Health Literacy, Nutrition Literacy, and Food Literacy.

            Health literacy, defined as the ability to access, understand, and use health information, has been identified as an international public health goal. The term nutrition literacy has emerged as a distinct form of health literacy, yet scholars continue to reflect on constituent skills and capabilities in light of discussions regarding what it means to be food literate and health literate. This viewpoint argues that a comprehensive conceptualization of nutrition literacy should reflect key elements of health literacy and food literacy constructs. Nutbeam's tripartite model of health literacy is employed to explore competencies that are likely to facilitate healthy food relationships.
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              Prevalence of Overweight/Obesity and Its Associated Factors among University Students from 22 Countries

              Obesity among young people increases lifetime cardiovascular risk. This study assesses the prevalence of overweight/obesity and its associated factors among a random sample of university students from 22 universities in 22 low, middle income and emerging economy countries. This cross-sectional survey comprised of a self-administered questionnaire and collected anthropometric measurements. The study population was 6773 (43.2%) males and 8913 (56.8%) females, aged 16 to 30 years (mean 20.8 years, SD = 2.6). Body mass index (BMI) was used for weight status. Among men, the prevalence of underweight was 10.8%, normal weight 64.4%, overweight 18.9% and obesity 5.8%, while among women, the prevalence of underweight was 17.6%, normal weight 62.1%, overweight 14.1% and obesity 5.2%. Overall, 22% were overweight or obese (24.7% men and 19.3% women). In multivariate regression among men, younger age, coming from a higher income country, consciously avoiding fat and cholesterol, physically inactivity, current tobacco use and childhood physical abuse, and among women older age, coming from a higher income country, frequent organized religious activity, avoiding fat and cholesterol, posttraumatic stress symptoms and physical childhood abuse were associated overweight or obesity. Several gender specific risk factors identified can be utilized in health promotion programmes.

                Author and article information

                Nutr Res Pract
                Nutr Res Pract
                Nutrition Research and Practice
                The Korean Nutrition Society and the Korean Society of Community Nutrition
                August 2019
                24 July 2019
                : 13
                : 4
                : 352-357
                Nutrition and Dietetics Department, Besyol Mah. Inonu Cad. No:38, Sefakoy, Kucukcekmece, Istanbul Aydin University, Istanbul, 34295, Turkey.
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Indrani Kalkan, Tel. 90-53-3223-7755, indranikalkan@ 123456aydin.edu.tr
                ©2019 The Korean Nutrition Society and the Korean Society of Community Nutrition

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research

                Nutrition & Dietetics
                young adults,youth,food habits,obesity,nutrition literacy
                Nutrition & Dietetics
                young adults, youth, food habits, obesity, nutrition literacy


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