Dietary habits of Palestinian adolescents and associated sociodemographic characteristics in Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron governorates

Nahed Mikki, Hanan F. Abdul-Rahim, Zumin Shi, Gerd Holmboe-Ottesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To describe food habits and associated sociodemographic factors. Design: Cross-sectional survey in 2005.Setting Ninety-six school classes in Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron governorates, Occupied Palestinian Territory.Subjects Grade 8 and 9 students aged 13-15 years (n 2952).Methods Self-administered student and parent questionnaires. Results: High standard of living (STL) index and residence in Ramallah were positively associated with intake of animal foods, Western-style foods, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, sweets and salty snacks. Only 261 % of the students ate three main meals daily; 262 % of the boys and 510 % of the girls had breakfast one to two times per week or less often (P < 0001). Only one-quarter of students drank milk daily (329 % of boys and 183 % of girls, P < 0001). The majority of students, boys and girls in similar proportions, consumed vegetables daily (728 % v. 738 %, respectively). Daily fruit consumption was also equally common among boys and girls (589 % v. 552 %, respectively), but with clear differences by STL, region and parents education. Daily intake of sweets and salty snacks was common among girls, and daily intake of soft drinks was common among boys. Conclusions: Irregular meal patterns were common among Palestinian adolescents. High STL and residence in Ramallah were associated with frequent intake of foods high in sugar and fat, but also with frequent intake of fruits and vegetables. Effective interventions are needed to establish healthy dietary habits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419-1429
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary habits
  • Nutrition
  • Palestinian adolescents
  • Sociodemographic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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