Academic stress levels were positively associated with sweet food consumption among Korean high-school students

Yeonsoo Kim, Hye Young Yang, Ae Jung Kim, Yunsook Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The objectives of the present study were to identify the association among levels of persistent academic stress, appetite, and dietary habits and to determine the specific types of sweet foods consumed by Korean high-school students according to their academic stress levels. Methods: The study participants included 333 high-school students in the 10th to 12th grades in Kyunggi Province, Korea. The level of academic stress was scored with a 75-item academic stress scale and was categorized as high, medium, or low. A food-frequency questionnaire was used to measure the sugar intake from sweet foods. Results: Korean high-school students with a high academic stress level had larger meals than the other students. Compared with students with low academic stress, the students with high academic stress had a higher frequency of sugar intake from the following food types: confectionaries, candies and chocolates, breads, and flavored milk. Moreover, compared with students with low academic stress, the students with high academic stress had a higher total intake of sugar from the following food types: confectionaries, candies, chocolates, flavored milk, traditional Korean beverages, and spicy, sweet, and fried rice cakes. Conclusion: Unhealthy stress-related food choices may compromise high-school students' health and contribute to their morbidity. The findings of the present study could be used to help nutritionists develop effective strategies for nutritional education and counseling to improve adolescent health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Academic stress
  • Korean high school students
  • Overeating
  • Sugar intake
  • Sweet food

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