Dietary patterns among adolescents are associated with growth, socioeconomic features, and health-related behaviors

Tali Sinai, Rachel Axelrod, Tal Shimony, Mona Boaz, Vered Kaufman-Shriqui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dietary patterns (DPs), usually established in adolescents, are important modifiable risk factors in the etiology of malnutrition and chronic diseases. This study aimed to identify DPs of adolescents and examine their associations with growth, sociodemographic, and lifestyle characteristics. A nationally representative, school-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in Israeli adolescents aged 11–18 years during 2015–2016. A self-administered survey queried sociodemographics, health behaviors, and diet. Weight and height were measured, and WHO height z-scores and BMI cutoffs were calculated. Food frequency questionnaire data were analyzed using principal components analysis (PCA) to identify DPs. Associations between growth, lifestyle, and sociodemographic characteristics and DPs were modeled using multivariable logistic regressions. A total of 3902 adolescents (46% males, mean age 15.2 ± 1.6 years) completed the survey. PCA identified five DPs, accounting for 38.3% of the total variance. The first two prominent DPs were the ‘plant-based food’ DP, which was associated with the female sex, higher socioeconomic status, overweight/obesity, and healthy lifestyle and the ‘junk food’ DP, which was associated with lower SES, unhealthy lifestyle, and lower height z-scores. Our results elucidate major DPs that strongly correlate with lifestyle risk behaviors and suboptimal growth among adolescents. Implementing screening for DPs should be further examined to identify higher risk health factors among youth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3054
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Adolescents
  • Dietary habits
  • Health-related behavior
  • Height
  • Nutrition survey
  • Obesity
  • Principal component analyses

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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