Korean J Community Nutr.  2020 Apr;25(2):126-136. 10.5720/kjcn.2020.25.2.126.

Relationship between Dietary Habits, Life Stress and Nutrition Knowledge of High School Students in Gyeonggi Area

  • 1Department of Food Service and Nutrition, Kaya University, Gimhae, Korea, Professor
  • 2Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Daejin University, Pocheon, Korea, Professor
  • 3Department of Food and Nutrition, Myongji University, Yongin, Korea, Professor


This study was performed to examine dietary habits, life stress, and nutrition knowledge among high school students in Gyeonggi area.
A total of 431 high school students (210 males, 221 females) in Gyeonggi area participated in this study from November to December of 2011. The study was a questionnaire-based survey that included dietary habits, dietary attitudes, life stress, and nutrition knowledge.
Body weight, height, and body mass index were all higher in male students than in female students (P < 0.001, respectively). For dietary habits, the average score (P < 0.01) and scores for considering combination of food groups (P < 0.05), eating green and orange vegetables (P < 0.05), eating meat, fish, eggs, or beans everyday (P < 0.05), drinking milk (P < 0.001), and eating seaweed (P < 0.01) were higher in male students than in female students. For dietary attitudes, the average score (P < 0.05) and scores for the five items were significantly different between male and female students. Male students showed a significantly lower nutrition knowledge score than female students (P < 0.05). Life stress score of students largely was attributable to academic factors, and female students showed higher stress score for academic, personal, and surrounding environmental (P < 0.05, respectively) factors than male students. Dietary habit score (P < 0.01) and nutrition knowledge score (P < 0.05) in female students as well as dietary attitude score (P < 0.05) in male students were negatively correlated with life stress score. Dietary habit scores in male and female students were positively correlated with dietary attitude score (P < 0.01, respectively). Need for nutrition education was significantly higher in female students than in male students (P < 0.05).
This study provides basic information on dietary habits, dietary attitudes, life stress, and nutrition knowledge according to sex and suggests gender-specific practical nutrition education programs to address undesirable dietary habits and attitudes in students with higher stress levels.


dietary attitude; dietary habit; high school student; life stress; nutrition knowledge
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