Revista de Nutrição
versão impressa ISSN 1415-5273
TORAL, Natacha; SLATER, Betzabeth; CINTRA, Isa de Pádua e FISBERG, Mauro. Adolescent eating behavior regarding fruit and vegetable intakes. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2006, vol.19, n.3, pp. 331-340. ISSN 1415-5273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-52732006000300004.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the eating behavior using the Transtheoretical Model and the nutritional status of adolescents from technical schools of São Paulo regarding their usual fruit and vegetable intakes. METHODS: A questionnaire was used to collect data on the usual fruit and vegetable intakes and to classify the stages of change. Weight and height were measured to assess nutrional status using the body mass index. The statistical analysis comprised the Student's T-test, chi-square test, Mann-Whitney test and the HSD-Tukey test, all calculated using a significance level of 5%. RESULTS: Low prevalence of nutritional disorders was observed among the 234 participants: 3.8% were classified as low weight and 12.4% were overweight. Only 12.4% and 10.3% had usual fruit and vegetable intakes, respectively, as recommended by the Food Guide Pyramid. Approximately one third of the sample was in the precontemplation and maintenance stages. A discrepancy was seen between self-rated food consumption and dietary perception, taking into account that 79.7% and 83.7% of the adolescents had a misperception about their fruit and vegetable intakes, respectively, considering them healthy. CONCLUSION: The high prevalence of adolescents in the precontemplation stage shows the importance of developing specific strategies against their resistance to dietary changes. Their misperception related to the characteristics of a healthy diet and the low fruit and vegetable intakes classify adolescents as a risk group that needs special attention in order to promote healthy dietary habits and to guarantee quality of life.
Palavras-chave : adolescent; adolescent behavior; food consumption; nutritional status.