A systematic review of factors affecting energy intake of adolescent girls
Background: Adolescence is considered a critical period marked by an increase in energy intake to meet the body’s physiological needs especially during puberty. This study reviews existing literature and critically analyses factors associated with eating habits and energy intake of adolescent girls.
Methods: A comprehensive search was conducted to identify at least 200 peer reviewed articles which dealt with the factors affecting energy intake (EI) and eating habits of adolescent girls. Studies were identified using a reference period between 1994 and 2016, based primarily on the PubMed/ CINL/ Science Direct/Google Scholar databases using keywords adolescent/ teenagers, factors/determinants and energy intake.
Results: No studies investigated all factors affecting energy intake among adolescents. Some studies found mixed association among the determinants of EI in adolescent girls. However, a number of reviews confirm that many factors namely physical activity level, socio-economic status, diet, individual and social factors do contribute to either a higher or a lower EI of adolescents.
Conclusion: There is a dire need to consider factors associated with EI when designing nutritional intervention programs to prevent health problems in adulthood. The goal is not to change behavior of all but to increase the percentage of people adopting healthier lifestyle.
Keywords: Adolescent girls, energy intake, physical activity level, socio-economic status, nutrition education
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