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Diet quality, disordered eating and health-related quality of life in Greek adolescents

Katerina Zervaki (Department of Home Economics and Ecology, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece)
Nikolaos Yiannakouris (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece)
Despina Sdrali (Department of Home Economics and Ecology, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece)
Vassiliki Costarelli (Department of Home Economics and Ecology, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a subjective multi-dimensional concept referring to an individual’s perception of health and well-being in domains related to physical, mental, emotional and social functioning. The current study aims at investigating possible associations between dietary quality, disordered eating attitudes and HRQOL in Greek adolescents.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 400 students (198 boys; 202 girls), 14-17 years old, were recruited from five high schools in the area of Kallithea in Athens, Greece. Standard anthropometric measurements were taken, and obesity classification was conducted using the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) cut-off points. Students completed the KIDMED index, which evaluates the degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) as a diet quality index, the EAT-26 questionnaire, which assesses disordered eating attitudes and the KIDSCREEN-27 questionnaire for children and adolescents assessing perceived HRQOL.

Findings

Disordered eating attitudes are significantly negatively correlated with the total score of HRQOL (p < 0.01) and with the subcategories: psychological well-being (p < 0.01), parents and autonomy (p < 0.01) and school environment (p < 0.001), whereas adherence to the MedDiet was positively correlated with all the components and total score of HRQOL. Linear regression analysis revealed that adherence to the MedDiet (p < 0.05), total number of meals/day (p < 0.01) and number of meals with the family (p < 0.05) were significant predictors of HRQOL in adolescents.

Research limitations/implications

The convenient sampling of 400 students was conducted from five schools, from one municipality of Athens, Greece.

Originality/value

Adherence to the MedDiet positively affects important components of HRQOL in adolescents, whereas disordered eating attitudes has a negative effect. Identifying adolescents with low HRQOL is highly important because it could result in an early detection of individualised healthcare needs and possible non-diagnosed ill-health problems.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to all the participants for their valuable contribution to the study.

Citation

Zervaki, K., Yiannakouris, N., Sdrali, D. and Costarelli, V. (2017), "Diet quality, disordered eating and health-related quality of life in Greek adolescents", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 511-521. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-12-2016-0189

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited