Background: Obesity and overweight affect a large proportion of the world's population. Increasingly, this problem can be observed among young adults. The aim of the study was to identify the motivations and barriers to healthy eating habits among young Poles, the relationship between physical activity and healthy eating and the impact of healthy eating on the body composition of the young.
Methods: The method used in the research was a diagnostic survey using direct personal interviews. The research was conducted in the years 2016-2019 on a group of 399 young Poles aged 18-26. Their body composition was analyzed by determining resistance and reactance using the biological impedance method, with a TANITA SC-330ST Body Composition Analyzer.
Results and conclusion: The main reasons for healthy eating among young Poles are the intent to follow a doctor's recommendations, to lose weight and to live a healthy lifestyle and to follow a trend. On the other hand, the largest barriers to proper nutrition are: lack of time to prepare healthy meals and of financial resources, inability to prepare meals and limited knowledge of the principles of healthy eating. The eating behavior varied significantly in relation to the physical activity of the respondents. Active people's eating habits were the best, and those of sedentary people the worst. Healthy eaters also had normal body composition indicators (adipose tissue level, BMI, body type). Young adults should be educated on the principles of healthy eating and have access to healthy food in canteens and vending machines, both at work and at university.
Keywords: Poland; barriers; body composition analyzer; eating habits; education; motivations; obesity; overweight; young adults.