Nutritional status of students in Kocaeli, Turkey: A population-based study


  • Authors' contributions:
    Nilay ETILER: designing the study, data collection, data analysis and writing the article.
    Filiz Mine CIZMECIOGLU: data collection, interpreting the results.
    Sukru HATUN: interpreting the results.
    Onur HAMZAOGLU: designing the study, sampling, interpreting the results.

Nilay Etiler, MD, Public Health Department, Medical School, Kocaeli University Umuttepe Campus, Kocaeli 41380, Turkey. Email:


Background:  The aim of this study was to determine the nutritional status of students in Kocaeli, Turkey.

Methods:  This cross-sectional study was carried out among the students of secondary schools in Kocaeli. Of the students, 2491 subjects were selected using multi-stage stratified sampling.

Results:  Of the students, 51.1% were male and 48.9% were female. Mean age was 14.35 ± 1.87 (range 10.1–19.8) in overall subjects, 14.38 ± 1.87 in boys and 14.31 ± 1.85 in girls. The prevalence of obesity and of overweight was estimated as 7.3% and 11.8%, respectively. Also, 3.1% of the subjects were underweight and 2.9% were thin. The rate of obesity was 1.5 times higher in girls and that of overweight was 1.2 times higher in girls. Similarly, students aged 15 years old and younger were 1.2 times more obese and 1.7 times more overweight than older students. Students living in urban areas had a higher prevalence of obesity and of overweight.

Conclusion:  Nutritional problems in students should be dealt with by some regulations in schools; for example, providing healthy food in schools or food aid, particularly in poor regions.