Smartphone Usage Patterns and Dietary Risk Factors in Adolescents

Seaun Ryu, Hajin Jang, Hannah Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Whereas earlier studies have shown that traditional screen time such as TV watching influences dietary behaviors in adolescents, little is known about the effects of modern screen time such as smartphone use. Objectives: We examined the associations of smartphone usage duration and content type with dietary risk factors among adolescents. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using a nationally representative sample of 54,601 middle- and high-school students (aged 12–18 y; 26,928 boys and 27,673 girls) in the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey 2017. Smartphone use (average duration and most frequently used content type) and dietary intakes [frequent breakfast skipping; less frequent intakes of fruits and vegetables; more frequent intakes of instant noodles, fast food, chips/crackers, and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)] were self-reported via an online-based questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to estimate ORs and 95% CIs for the associations of smartphone usage duration and content type with prevalence of dietary risk factors, adjusting for potential confounders. All analyses accounted for complex survey sampling. Results: Prolonged smartphone use (≥300 compared with 1–59 min/d) was associated with (OR; 95% CI) higher prevalence of frequent breakfast skipping (1.60; 1.45, 1.76); frequent intakes of instant noodles (1.65; 1.47, 1.84), fast food (1.36; 1.20, 1.53), and SSBs (1.92; 1.75, 2.11); and less frequent intakes of fruits (1.44; 1.30, 1.59) and vegetables (1.32; 1.18, 1.47). Adjusting for usage duration, using smartphones mainly for messenger/e-mail, social networking service (SNS)/forum, and games were associated with less frequent intakes of fruits (OR: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.31; OR: 1.28; 95% CI: 1.17, 1.40; and OR: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.32, respectively) and vegetables (OR: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.37; OR: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.13, 1.40; and OR: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.40, respectively) than was using smartphones for education/information search. Using smartphones mainly for messenger/e-mail (OR: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.14, 1.35) and SNS/forum (OR: 1.18; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.29) were also associated with more frequent intake of SSBs. Conclusions: Our data suggest that both duration and content type of smartphone use are independently associated with dietary risk factors among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2109-2116
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Society for Nutrition.


  • Internet
  • diet
  • dietary factor
  • food
  • media
  • nutrition
  • obesity
  • screen time
  • teenager
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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