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Young Pinoys are high consumers of junk food and carbonated drinks

A typical diet of a young Filipino includes instant noodles, chips, grilled street food and carbonated drinks. This was one of the findings of the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 4) conducted by the Demographic Research and Development Foundation (DRDF) and the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI).

This is the fourth time that such survey was conducted and the first time that questions about nutrition were asked of respondents. The study interviewed around 19,000 young Filipinos aged 15-24.

Sixty eight percent reported that they consume carbonated drinks at least once a week. Six in 10 have instant noodles and chips in their weekly fare while slightly more than half eat grilled street food at least once a week.

But according to Dr. Grace Cruz, a demographer and the main author of the study, “they still consider themselves of good health, with 16 percent even giving themselves very healthy self-assessment, while 26 percent said they are healthier than average”. In addition, they also find their body weight as “normal” or “alright” while 20 percent said that they feel they are too thin.

Data from YAFS 4 also show that 2 in 3 young Filipinos engage in physical exercises and 67 percent do it at least twice a week. More young men than women regularly exercise.

When it comes to leisure activities, media and technology related activities dominate young people’s choices – watching television (49 percent), texting (30 percent), listening to music (22 percent), and surfing the internet (13 percent).