The Prevalence and Correlates of Eating Between Meals in a Cross-Sectional Study of a Health Oriented Adult Population

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Abstract

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of snacking and to explore the relationship between snacking and several demographic, anthropometric, functional and biochemical factors. Methods: The study included 756 individuals over 18 years of age from Medias, Romania. Demographics and data about snacking were collected by trained volunteers. Height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure were measured with standard equipment according to accepted procedures. Blood glucose and cholesterol were measured by experienced nurses using portable devices. Associations between variables were checked with the Pearson Chi-square test. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated to measure the association between binary variables. Results: About half of the subjects in the studied sample reported snacking less than 2 times / week, 34.5% between 3-4 times / week and 14.8% more than 4 times / week. Statistical analysis found that snacking was associated with gender (males being less likely to snack than females), ethnicity (non-Romanians being less likely to snack than Romanian ethnics), marital status of the subjects (not married people being less likely to snack than married people ), systolic blood pressure (people consuming more often snacks being less likely to have high systolic blood pressure values), and blood sugar level (people eating more frequently between meals being more likely to have higher blood glucose levels). Conclusions: Snacking was a widespread eating habit among the study participants and was significantly associated with gender, ethnicity, marital status, systolic blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

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Acta Medica Marisiensis

The Journal of The University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu-Mures

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