To improve urban adolescents’ dietary behaviors and health, factors that influence them to buy meals in convenience stores with regard to urban food environments must be determined. This study investigated the factors which influence adolescents’ substitution of meals with convenience store meals and its impact on their health in Seoul (South Korea). Multilevel analysis and logistic regression analysis were conducted using data from the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a national health survey with a representative sample of Korean adolescents. Among 17,624 teenagers who responded to surveys in 2017 and 2019, 30.5% of them substituted meals with convenience store meals more than three times a week. Girls and students with a lower family economic level were more likely to frequently consume food from convenience stores. Unhealthy lifestyles and poor mental health status also influenced their decisions to substitute meals with convenience store food. Those who frequently consumed meals from convenience stores were more likely to have unhealthy lifestyles, featuring bad diets, smoking, drinking, and sedentary behaviors. They also reported significantly poorer self-rated health and mental health. To promote healthy lifestyles among adolescents, efforts to raise awareness and develop supportive environments for healthy diets are strongly recommended.
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