Study of the eating habits of the students attending the first 2 years at high school in Italy

  • Calabrese Giorgio
  • Maj Monica
  • Testa Margherita
  • Fioramonti Elisabetta
  • Rossi Filippo
Original Article


The study involved 983 adolescents attending the first 2 years at high school (14–15 years) in Bra (Northern Italy). The research was aimed at studying the essentials of food habits of adolescents while in school, at home or away from home, their conditions and opinions about body weight, about sport practice and the satisfaction with their physical appearance. The involved students were given a questionnaire and anthropometric measurements were taken (weight and height). The percentage of underweight students was higher among female students than males (8.45 vs. 3.93 %), while boys tended to be overweight more than girls (8.05 vs. 4.02 %). The only obesity cases (n = 3) were found among boys. Female students attending the Professional Institute have a higher BMI than those at the Lyceum (21.97 vs. 21.03; P < 0.05). No significant differences in the BMI value have been found among male students attending different schools. The questionnaire results showed that almost half of the students do not have breakfast at home while they prefer coffee shops or vending machines. The BMI value of the students, who have breakfast at home is lower than that of the students, who almost never have breakfast (21.71 vs. 22.52; P < 0.05). 42 % of meals are not eaten together with the family, even if at home there is a person responsible for the preparation of meals. Sport is practiced by 58.5 % of males and 42.6 % of females in a competitive way and on a regular basis. 35 % of students are occasionally satisfied with their physical appearance; 13.3 % are never satisfied. A significant relationship can be found between the satisfying ratio and gender: 66.2 % of males are always or often satisfied, while 63.9 % of females are unsatisfied or poorly satisfied.


Adolescents Eating habits Overweight 



Bra Rotary Club and Piemonte Region have contributed to the achievement of this study. The collaboration of students and employees of the schools involved (Liceo Scientifico Classico Linguistico Giolitti Gandino and Istituto Professionale Mucci) is gratefully acknowledged.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Calabrese Giorgio
    • 1
  • Maj Monica
    • 2
  • Testa Margherita
    • 3
  • Fioramonti Elisabetta
    • 3
  • Rossi Filippo
    • 2
  1. 1.Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”NovaraItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Scienze degli alimenti e della nutrizioneFacoltà di Agraria, Università Cattolica del Sacro CuorePiacenzaItaly
  3. 3.Liceo Scientifico Classico Linguistico “Giolitti-Gandino”Bra, CuneoItaly

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