The Relationship of Perceptions, Self-efficacy, and Junk Food Consumption With Demographic Variables in Female Students in Shahrekord

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Health, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran

3 Department of Public Health, Behbahan Faculty of Medical Sciences, Behbahan, Iran

4 Department of Public Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

Abstract

Background and aims: Inappropriate or imbalanced consumption of foods may lead to several health
problems, especially among adolescents, the complications of which will remain for several years.
This study aimed to investigate perceptions, self-efficacy, and the status of junk food consumption
and their relationship with demographic variables in female high school students in Shahrekord using
Health Belief Model (HBM).
Methods: This is a descriptive- analytic study conducted in academic year 2016-2017. Three hundred
twenty-three adolescent girls (second grade high school students of Shahrekord) were selected through
cluster sampling method. A standard questionnaire, according to the structures of health belief model
(perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, barriers, and self-efficacy) and a checklist for assessment
of junk food consumption was used to collect data. The obtained data were analyzed using SPSS
software, version 16 and descriptive as well as analytic tests.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 16.03 ± 1.24 years old. The mean scores of knowledge,
perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, barriers, and self-efficacy in proper consumption of junk
foods were 55.66 ± 20.95; the mean frequency of junk food consumption among the students was
reported to be 6.17 ± 3.18 times. There was a significantly inverse associations among perceived
self-efficacy, severity, and benefit and junk food consumption. The mean frequency of junk food
consumption in the schools under investigation was 6.67 ± 3.62 times.
Conclusion: Considering the consumption of relatively high amounts of junk foods, the students’ low
levels of knowledge and perception and the effect of peer groups, it is necessary to promote students’
nutritional knowledge, change adolescents’ diet, and pay more attention to packaging of healthy foods
and making them more attractive.

Keywords