Junk Food Consumption and Effects on Growth Status among Children Aged 6-24 Months in Mashhad, Northeastern Iran

Authors

1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Students Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Midwifery MSc, Instructor, Midwifery Department, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran.

4 Students Research Committee, Faculty of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction
Junk food, due to the lack of vitamins, minerals and trace amounts of energy and protein, there is the risk that the child's stomach filled and by reducing her/his appetite, reduce the chance of nutritious foods. So it is necessary to determine the relationship between using of junk food with growth rate in children.
Materials and Methods
This cross-sectional descriptive-analytic study was conducted on 300 mothers and their babies
, who were referring to 10 selected Mashhad health-care centers for monitoring their 6-24 months children. Participants were selected by cluster and simple random sampling and valid and reliable   questionnaire was used to collect data. Data were analyzed by descriptive- analytic statistics and using SPSS version 16.
Results
In growth chart, 86.7 percent of children showed appropriate growth, 10.3 percent had delayed growth and 3 percent had horizontal growth curve. In 11.3 percent of families, the junk food has been used for children regularly, 44.7 percent did not believe in these snacks and 44 percent of mothers sometimes used this junk food for their children. Results showed the statistical correlation between junk food consumption and  growth status of children was significant, so children whom haven’t had junk food, have grown more favorable than the other kids (P<0.05).
Conclusion
Use snacks interfere with the child's growth. Junk food consumption among the study population was high relatively. Mothers need to be aware of the effects of junk food to children's development.

Keywords