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Drinking habits among the youth - a quantitative analysis of drinking habits among youngsters (14-22 years) in Austria

2013-05-23, Szabo, Barbara, Schnabel, Florian, Gollner, Erwin, Sociedad Española de Medicina de Familia y Comunitaria

Introduction: Alcohol-free drinks are the basis of a healthy diet. Water stimulates metabolism and promotes blood circulation, while a lack of water can lead to circulatory failure. However drinking habits of young people are a neglected field of science in health promotion. In Austria till now there has been no empirical study which analyses drinking patterns among adolescents. Objectives: The aim of the quantitative study was to investigate drinking habits of pupils of secondary schools in Burgenland (Austria) between the age of 14 and 22. Methods: In 2011 the FH Burgenland carried out a quantitative online-survey. The ÖSES.aqa07, in which drinking habits of Austrian adults have been analysed, was chosen as reference study. National and international drinking guidelines were used to assess findings. Results: 60% of participating pupils (n = 114) reach the recommended amount of liquid intake (1.2-1.5 litres of water per day) or drink even more. 35% cover more than 75% of their daily liquid intake with water. Favourite drinks of pupils and students are water (mineralwater, mains water) (73%), flavoured water (48%), fruit juice with water (33%), coffee (29%) and ice tea (29%). Conclusions: Pupils have to be motivated to pay attention to healthy drinking habits. To ensure sustainability circumstance-oriented intersectoral health promotion actions like filling vending machines with low-carbohydrate drinks as well as awareness campaigns are necessary. First steps in this direction have already been taken by carrying out several projects in educational establishments. Keywords: drinking habits, health promotion, youth