Adolescence represents a real opportunity to make a difference in lifelong patterns. There are 1.2 billion adolescents in the world, 85% of them live in developing countries. The adolescent population constitutes about 18 to 25% of the total population of the South East Asia Region.
Objective: To assess the knowledge of Adolescents about the dietary behaviour & its consequences.
Material and Methods: The present observational cross-sectional study was carried out in Department of Community Medicine, Santosh Medical College, Ghaziabad & Urban area of district Ghaziabad. The unit of the study was selected adolescent students studying in randomly selected schools of Ghaziabad city. Adolescents aged 10 to 19 years studying in the selected schools of urban Ghaziabad were included for the study. The period of study was from November 2011 to October 2012.
Results: 253 (67.5%) male and 192 (51.2%) female had knowledge about healthy diet. about half of the female 193 (51.5%) preferred homemade food while about two-third 252 (67.2%) of boys preferred outside food. Males 162 (43.2%) ate junk food daily, 183 (48.8%) ate weekly and 30 (8.0%) ate occasionally while in females 108 (28.8%) ate junk food daily, 218 (58.1%) ate weekly and 49 (13.1%) ate occasionally. 270 (72.0%) male and 265 (70.7%) female had knowledge that consuming junk food regularly can harm health. 209 (55.7%) male and 224 (59.7%) female were encouraged from surrounding to eat outside or junk food.
Conclusions: Considering the large no. of adolescents in our country, the study thus evokes an urgent need to stimulate an action to identify those at risk and those who need treatment and prevention of progression of the health risk behaviors, among the adolescents.