NUTRITIONAL DISORDERS AND RELATED RISK FACTORS IN A COHORT OF YOUNG MEDITERRANEAN POPULATION

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Vincenza La Fauci, Raffaele Squeri, Daniela Lo Giudice, Sebastiano Calimeri, Valeria Alessi, Grazia Maria Antonuccio, Cristina Genovese

Today, obesity and thinness have a high impact on young generations which could affect their entire lifetime. The aim of our study was to investigate possible relationships between nutritional disorders and the presence of some risk factors in childhood/youth. An observational study was conducted from March to April 2019 through the administration on individuals 18-35 years old of age of both sexes using an ad hoc online questionnaire. We analysed a sample of 310 young adults (22.26 years ±6.49 SD) and we found that about 50% of the subjects were underweight or overweight. We noticed some common traits between these two groups: low income and familiarity for nutritional deficits in underweight subjects, parents’ low degree of education, skipping breakfast/meals in the day, low consumption of fruit/vegetables and inability to control certain aspects of one’s life, dissatisfaction and problems in interpersonal relationships. Distinctive between the two groups was the different consumption of junk food (predominant in the obese and absent in underweight) and the level of physical activity (mostly performed by underweight).  Our study highlights the need for public health decision makers to reduce prevalence of nutritional disorders that could be important risk factors to the development of chronic diseases.

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