The mean age of the participants was 12.15 ± 1.15 and 50.5% (315) were female. Background variables and eating patterns of the participants are shown in Table and (Table and ). 21.6% of the participants living in the family owned apartment/house. According to BMI percentiles, 8.3% (52) were obese and 10.2% (64) were overweight. 54.1% doing sports regularly. Only 5% of the participants have dinner after 23:00 and 79.8% eat together with their family at the table. 60.8% of the participants had a lesson about healthy eating at school. Eating patterns showed no difference between gender, maternal and paternal education groups. Being obese or overweight and doing sportive activity regularly also have no effect on eating patterns.
Background variables of the participants
Eating patterns of the participants
When participants were asked to rate the factors affecting their food choice according to a 10 point scale, the highest mean scores (high impact on food choice) were obtained for the factors; family, health, body perception, teachers and friends; 7.5 ± 3.1, 7.4 ± 3.1, 6.1 ± 3.2, 4.8 ± 3.3 and 4.2 ± 3.0 respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between gender groups regarding factors effecting food choice.
Participants were asked to list the food groups in the FGP in the order of the recommended consumption frequency. Only one (0.2%) participant out of 359, was able to list all the food groups in the correct order. Fats were listed in their correct order by 44.3% of the participants whereas the other correctly listed food groups were 26.4% correct for the vegetables and fruits, 24.3% for the milk, 24% for the meat and 4.6% for the grain groups. When the participants were asked to list the same food groups in the order of own consumption frequencies (n = 369), the percentages in accord with the FGP were; 37.8% consumed meat as recommended serving amounts in the FGP, 27.2% consumed fat as recommended serving amounts in the FGP, 23.5% drank milk as recommended serving amounts in the FGP, 15% ate vegetables and fruits as recommended serving amounts in the FGP and only 11.8% consumed grains as recommended serving amounts in the FGP.
Among the participants, only 1.9% (n = 7) consumed food groups according to servings recommended in the FGP. Of the participants 46.6% listed 1 or none of the food groups in the recommended consumption order, and 35.4% consumed 1 or none of the food groups in the recommended frequency. However, 25.8% of the participants listed 3 or more food groups according to the FGP recommendations but only 23.4% declared that they consume 3 or more food groups as frequently as recommended. Girls seems to know the recommendations regarding vegetable and fruit groups better than boys (60% vs 40%, x2 = 4.41, p = 0.036) and boys seems to know grain group recommendations better than girls (65.5% vs 35.5%; x2 = 4.26, p = 0.039). More girls than boys consume meat group items according to the recommendations (60.4% vs 39.6%; x2 = 10.10, p = 0.001). In our study group, significantly more girls are obese and overweight than boys (11% vs 5.5%, x2 = 6.42, p = 0.011 and 13.3% vs 7.1%, x2 = 6.54, p = 0.011). When participants divided into two groups according to the criteria of listing at least 3 food groups of the FGP in correct order of the recommended consumption frequency, significantly more girls, obese and overweight subjects listed at least 3 food groups correctly compared to boys, non obese and normal weight subjects (Table ). Between the same groups, there were no significant difference in consuming at least 3 food groups in the FGP according to recommended daily servings.
Distribution of Food Pyramid Knowledge among study subgroups
Among the participants who were doing a sport activity regularly, the mean number of days per week for that sport activity was 1.9 ± 2.0. Mean hours spent daily on the following activities were 2.5 ± 2.3 for watching TV, 1.2 ± 1.2 for watching DVD/video, 1.9 ± 1.8 for computer games, 1.4 ± 1.2 for reading books and 2.3 ± 1.2 for doing homework. Total mean time spent on all these activities was 9.8 ± 4.7.