The Association between Various Lifestyle Patterns and the Body Mass Index in Adolescents

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Abstract

Objective: The study aims to analyze obesogenic behavioral patterns of adolescents living in Mureş County, Romania, as well as to establish a relationship between these behaviors and their Body Mass Index (BMI), in an attempt to provide effective prevention strategies for obesity.

Material and Methods: 153 students between 9th to 12th grade, aged between 14 and 19 years old, from the Vocational and Art Highschool of Târgu Mureş were included in the study. All the candidates filled out an evaluation questionnaire of lifestyle and risky behaviors. The analyzed data were sex, age, residence, BMI and risky eating behavior defined as the consumption of carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, sweets), sodas, junk food, alcohol (wine, distilled beverages, beer), beer separately, level of physical activity (school and extra-school sports activities), sedentary behaviors (≥2 hours/day in front of a screen: personal computer-PC and television-TV), and spending ≥2 hours/day separately on the PC and on the TV.

Results: A statistically significant association was observed between BMI and consumption of fast-food, tobacco, beer, sedentary behavior and spending ≥2 hours/day in front of the PC. Moreover, there was a statistically significant difference between the BMI values of adolescents presenting all studied risk behaviors compared to those who did not.

Conclusions: Obesity among adolescents from Mureş County is influenced by lifestyle choices like fast-food, tobacco, beer, sedentary behavior and spending ≥2 hours/day in front of the PC.

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