An experience of using factor analysis for studying eating behaviour of children and adolescents of school age

Objective. Using factor analysis to study the development of disorders of eating behaviour in children and adolescents due to an irrational structure of food consumption пищевых продуктов.
Material and methods. A questionnaire survey was conducted among 1077 children living in the city of Mezhdurechensk, Kemerovo region. The questionnaire consisted of items referring the frequency of consumption of the main groups of foods. The frequency of consumption of food products had 5 grades and a corresponding conditional score. Factor analysis – principal component method – was used to isolate latent factors conditioning the frequency of consumption of particular categories of
food products. 
Results. In schoolchildren of all age groups, we singled out three principal factors that determined the variability of the parameters referring to the frequency of food consumption. The total influence of factors in 7–10-year-old schoolchildren was 59.6%, in 11–13-year-olds – 60.6%, in 14–17-year-olds – 63.3%. As children grow, the total influence of the factors influencing the frequency of consumption of foods becomes stronger. None of the stereotypes of eating behaviour can be regarded as rational, since it is characterised by frequent intake of high-calorie foods against the background of a decreased consumption of foods with biological value.
Conclusion. The developing stereotypes of eating behaviour might become a cause of nutritional deficiency in both junior and senior schoolchildren.
Key words: nutrition, eating behaviour, factor analysis, frequency of consumption, schoolchildren
For citation: Tapeshkina N.V., Perevalov A.Ya., Vlasova О.P., Popkova L.V. An experience of using factor analysis for studying eating behaviour of children and adolescents of school age. Vopr. dietol. (Nutrition). 2019; 9(3): 22–27. (In Russian).
DOI: 10.20953/2224-5448-2019-3-22-27