Correlation between Eating Behavior and Stress Level in High School Students

고등학생의 스트레스 강도와 식행동과의 상관성

  • Hong, Ji Hye (Nutrition Education, Graduate School of Education, Kyonggi University) ;
  • Kim, Seong Yeong (Nutrition Education, Graduate School of Education, Kyonggi University)
  • 홍지혜 (경기대학교 교육대학원 영양교육) ;
  • 김성영 (경기대학교 교육대학원 영양교육)
  • Received : 2013.10.11
  • Accepted : 2014.02.05
  • Published : 2014.03.31


This study investigated the correlation between eating behavior patterns, including eating-habits, food preferences, snack intake levels, and eating-out frequency and stress levels in high school students (males 174 and females 122) in Seoul. Analysis of eating-habits showed that eating-irregularity and eating-speed increased with elevated stress levels in both males and females under stress. The size of meals decreased in males, whereas it increased in females under getting stress (P<0.01). Preferences for sugar, hamburgers, and pizza also increased in both males and females under stress. Eating-out frequency decreased in males with a high stress level (P<0.01), whereas it increased in females. As for eating-out partners, males did not show any changes, whereas females preferred friends to family when under stress. Eating-out expenses also increased in both males and females, particularly in females with a high stress level (P<0.05). Males under increased stress showed effective stress reduction by increasing food intake, whereas females under increased stress showed less effective results. Consequently, high school students under high stress, particularly females, showed negative changes in eating behavior patterns, including irregular eating-habits, increased instant food and snack intakes, and increased frequency of eating-out. Therefore, development of appropriate programs for reducing stress and persistent nutrition education to promote good dietary behaviors are required.


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