Changes in dietary behavior among adolescents and their association with government nutrition policies in Korea, 2005-2009

J Prev Med Public Health. 2012 Jan;45(1):47-59. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.2012.45.1.47. Epub 2012 Jan 31.


Objectives: This study was conducted to observe recent changes in adolescents' dietary behavior and indirectly evaluate the effects of the government's nutritional policies in Korea.

Methods: We analyzed the secular trends in seven dietary behaviors using the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey data from 2005 to 2009. Through literature review, we included the policies implemented for the improvement of adolescents'dietary behaviors during the same periods.

Results: The significant linear trends were observed in all dietary behaviors (p<0.05). Overall, all behaviors except the fruit intake rate were desirably changed during five years but undesirable changes were observed between 2008 and 2009 in all behaviors. Within those periods, several policies were implemented including 'Ban on carbonated-beverages in school', 'Green Food Zone', etc. Despite confirmed evidence of their effects, the policies on individual behavior such as nutrition education didn't influence the prevalence of dietary behaviors because they were conducted to too limited persons. Policies on the school environmental improvement, such as ban on carbonated beverage in school, were more effective because they decreased the exposure of undesirable food environment. However, for effect of Green Food Zone improving community environment we couldn't come to a conclusion because of too short period after full implementation.

Conclusions: Among government nutrition policies conducted from 2005 to 2009, those on environmental improvement, especially in school, were more effective than those on individual behavior. Therefore, the development and implement of policies on school environmental improvement are needed in Korea.

Keywords: Adolescent; Food habits; Policy; Trends.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Environmental Policy*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Nutrition Policy*