Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.22(4) > 1038589

Doo, Lee, Park, and Song: Relationship among Life Stress, Dietary Behaviors and High-fat Snack Intake in High School Students in Gyeonggi Area



Stress during adolescence is related to undesirable nutritional intake and negatively affects the growth and development. This study was performed to investigate the relationship among life stress, dietary behaviors and the intake of high-fat containing snacks in male and female high school students in Gyeonggi-do area.


The subjects were 700 high school students (350 males, 350 females) in Gyeonggi-do from July to September 2014 and the survey was performed by using questionnaire that included general characteristics, dietary behaviors, high-fat containing snacks intake, and daily life stress.


There was a gender difference in health-related life style and dietary behaviors, and the life stress was significantly higher in female students than in male students. For health-related life style, exercise frequency, hours of sleep and conversation time with parents had significantly negative correlations with life stress, while smoking and perceived stress had significantly positive correlations with life stress. For dietary behaviors, the frequency of eating-out had a significantly negative correlation with life stress, while the changes in amount of meal intake under stress had a significantly positive correlation with life stress. The fat intake of ‘high-stress group’ was significantly higher and high-fat containing snacks consumed by this group consisted of cookies, honey bread and fried foods.


It is necessary to develop appropriate programs for the emotional stability and stress relief of adolescents that provide continuous nutrition education focused on proper snack intake, desirable dietary behaviors and nutritional aspects.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

General characteristics of the subjects by gender


1) Mean ±SD

2) BMI < 18.5: Underweight, 18.5 − 22.9: Normal, 23.0 ≤: Overweight

3) N (%), by χ2-test

**: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001

Table 2

Dietary behaviors of the subjects by gender


1) N (%), by χ2-test

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001

Table 3

Monthly consumption frequency of fat containing snacks of the subjects by gender


1) Never: 0, 1~3 times/month: 2.0, 1~2/week: 6.4, 3~4 times/week: 15.0, 5~6 times/week: 23.5, once/day: 30.0, 2 times/day ≤: 60.0

2) Mean ±SD

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001

Table 4

Life stress score and distribution by the life stress levels of the subjects


1) Mean ±SD

2) By t-test,

3) N (%), by χ2-test

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01

Table 5

The correlations among health-related life style, dietary behaviors and life stress of the subjects


1) H1: Exercise frequency (times/week), H2: Smoking, H3: Hours of sleep (hours/day), H4: Perceived stress, H5: Conversation with parents (minutes/day), D1: Meal frequency (times/day), D2: Meal regularity, D3: Time of eating a meal (minutes), D4: Usual amount of meal intake, D5: Frequency of eating out, D6: Frequency of snack intake, D7: Changes in the amount of meal intake under stress

2) Pearson's correlation coefficient

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001


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Kyunghee Song

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