To investigate cross-correlates of pocket-money on diet quality and weight status of Greek adolescents.
A total of 172 adolescents (55.2% boys), aged between 10 and 15 years old were recruited. Body weight and height were measured, body mass index (BMI) was computed. Weight status was assessed according to the International Obesity Task Force criteria and diet quality was evaluated via the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) – 2010.
Adolescents were allowed a mean allowance of €4.63 ± 3.66 daily. Among boys participants, BMI correlated with pocket money (r = 0.311, p ≤ 0.002) and normoweight boys received statistically less money than their overweight peers (p ≤ 0.019). In both sexes, normoweight was more prevalent in the lowest monetary quartiles. Pocket money was not associated with HEI. Among boys, moderate HEI was more prevalent in the third quartile of pocket money, significantly higher compared to all others (p ≤ 0.01 for all). For girls, the prevalence of moderate HEI declined by each ascending pocket money quartile (p ≤ 0.05 for all).
In our sample, adolescents exhibited high rates of pooled overweight including obesity. The majority of the participants followed a diet of moderate quality. Pocket money was associated with BMI only among boys. As pocket money was not associated with diet quality, it is highly possible that adolescents might choose to spend their money on items other than foods. Our study shows that pocket money should be controlled during adolescence and teenagers should be educated on spending their money on healthier food choices.
The authors appreciate the valuable cooperation of all adolescents and their families who participated in the study.
Conflict of interest: None declared.
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