The literature shows that malnutrition remains a significant problem for adolescents, worldwide.
Objective To assess the quality of young people’s diet living in the North-western region of Algeria.
Methods A total of 600 healthy adolescents (boys: 49,2%; girls: 51,8%) aged between 15 to 20 years took part in the study. The information on socio-demographic profile was collected, while anthropometric data such as weight, height and BMI was collected on all the available adolescents. The 24 h dietary recall was used to evaluate the food consumption with a self-administered questionnaire which designed to evaluate the food habits. The USDA’s food composition tables were used as a data base for Nutrinux program in order to perform the nutrient amounts.
Results No between-group differences were seen in BMI (p>0.05). The prevalence of overweight and obesity among the studied group was not important. 60% of girls skip a meal to control their body weight and 42% lose weight. An increase in calories, carbohydrates, and dietary fat was noticed. However, the protein amount agrees with dietary recommendations, while iron, D and E vitamins showed deficiency, particularly in girls.
Conclusions The eating behaviour remains the main cause of unbalanced diet in our adolescents, especially in girls.