How healthily Taiwanese teenagers eat has been linked to their family’s socioeconomic status, and comparative studies have found that young people eat more high-calorie and deep-fried food, but less fruit and vegetables than their counterparts 15 years ago.
Researchers at the National Defense Medical Center and Chunghwa University of Medical Technologies found that the diets of junior and senior-high-school students are positively correlated with their fathers’ education and employment levels, and their household income.
One of the contributing authors of the study, He Meng-chun (何孟純), said children living with both parents tended to have meals at home more often.
She presented her findings at a seminar sponsored by the Taiwan Public Health Association.
The survey results showed that teenagers who smoked, lived in eastern Taiwan, watched TV for more than four hours a day or had an Aboriginal father did not have balanced diets in comparison with other teenagers.
He’s research also made comparisons between the national health and nutrition survey results of 1993 to 1996, and those of 2010 and 2011. She found that while the diets of junior-high-school students have improved, the diets of senior-high-school students have become poorer.
“The difference might be because junior-high-school students have lunch provided by their schools and senior-high-school students do not, and given the choice, they favor sugary beverages and deep-fried foods,” she said.