Public Health Nutrition

Monitoring and surveillance

Food intake in Slovenian adolescents and adherence to the Optimized Mixed Diet: a nationally representative study

Helena Kobea1, Matevž Štimeca1, Cirila Hlastan Ribiča2a3 and Nataša Fidler Misa1 c1

a1 Dietetics and Nutrition Unit, University Children's Hospital, Bohoričeva 20, SI-1525 Ljubljana, Slovenia

a2 Chronic Diseases Prevention Centre CINDI, National Institute of Public Health, Ljubljana, Slovenia

a3 Medical Faculty, Department of Public Health, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia


Objectives To investigate the food intake of Slovenian adolescents and to compare it with food-based dietary guidelines developed for children and adolescents, named the Optimized Mixed Diet (OMD). The OMD is a useful tool for the evaluation of food intake of adolescents.

Design All adolescents completed an FFQ at a regional health centre; a subgroup also completed a 3 d weighed dietary protocol at home.

Setting This study is a part of the first national representative study on the dietary habits of Slovenian adolescents.

Subjects This cross-sectional study included a representative sample of 2813 Slovenian adolescents entering high school, aged 14–17 years, from all ten geographical regions of Slovenia.

Results The greatest deviations from the recommended intakes of the main food groups in the OMD were significantly lower intakes of (P < 0·001, mean): vegetables (179 and 163 g/d in boys and girls, respectively), bread/cereals (271 and 226 g/d), potatoes/rice/pasta (212 and 163 g/d); in boys also a significantly lower intake of fruits (mean: 321 g/d, P < 0·001) and a significantly higher intake of meat/meat products (mean: 126 g/d, P < 0·001). Additionally, the results show too high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and too low intakes of fish and plant oils in both genders.

Conclusions The food intake pattern of Slovenian adolescents deviates markedly from a healthy eating pattern. Nutrition education and interventions are needed for Slovenian adolescents.

(Received July 20 2010)

(Accepted September 09 2011)

(Online publication October 24 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: Email