The aim of the study was to investigate the determinants of reported snack consumption in adolescents residing in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Helsinki, Finland. Ten % random samples of 14-15 yr old Belfast (n = 628) and Helsinki (n = 600) adolescents were obtained. A questionnaire assessed their demography, oral health knowledge, attitudes and the consumption of cariogenic snacks containing non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES). Five hundred and eighty-nine (94%) questionnaires were returned in Belfast and 441 (74%) questionnaires in Helsinki. Belfast adolescents had significantly higher levels of oral health knowledge and higher consumption rates for snacks containing NMES. The Helsinki adolescents had more positive attitudes towards their oral health. Multivariant analysis showed that demography was the most direct determinant of cariogenic snacking. The acquisition of oral health knowledge played a minor role. There is a need to develop tailored and focused programmes to promote healthier snacking regimes in adolescents.
- Dietary behaviours
- Oral health promotion