Objective Cross-sectional single observational study on the effect of pocket money on dietary intake and obesity, in Greece.
Methods Three-hundred-twenty-one children and adolescents aged 3–18 years old were randomly selected throughout Greece, as relatives of students from the Nutrition Department. Participants were classified in accordance to the International Obesity Task Force anthropometric standards as of normal body weight, or overweight/obese. The overweight/obese participants were included in one category for better statistical comparison. Pearson’s correlation was used for establishing associations between data and independent samples t-test for between-group analysis.
Results The majority of subjects were of normal weight (n = 210, 65.4%), 84 were overweight (26.2%) and 27 were obese (8.4%). Pocket-money was significantly higher in the overweight/obese group and so was energy, sugars and fat intake. In the total sample, pocket-money was correlated to the consumption of energy (p⩽0.001), dietary fat (p⩽0.001), saturated fat (p⩽0.001), cholesterol (p⩽0.008), sugars (p⩽0.014) and carbohydrate (p⩽0.005).
Conclusions Money provides the consumer ability to choose foods and in the youth it is spent on foods high in energy, fat, cholesterol and sugars, a nutrition regime that contributes to the development of overweight and obesity. Lower amounts of pocket-money were correlated to a healthier body weight and this finding can consist of an important mean in fighting childhood obesity.