Original Article

The Use of Dietary Supplements Among Public High School Students in North Cyprus


  • Deniz Erdağ
  • Özgür Tosun
  • Hasan Ulaş Yavuz

Received Date: 13.11.2019 Accepted Date: 15.04.2020 Cyprus J Med Sci 2020;5(2):157-162


The use of dietary supplements is common among adolescents in many countries. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and underlying reasons of usage and sources of information about dietary supplements among public high school students in North Cyprus.


A structured survey measuring behaviors about dietary supplements was administered to 1131 students (514 male and 617 female, aged from 14 to 18). Statistical differences between sex, age group and sports participation were done by using a Chi-square analysis. Differences were considered significant at a p-value <0.05.


Dietary supplements use prevalence was 6,4 % among public high school students, with a higher rate in males (10.7 %) compared to females (2.8 %), and athletes (9.3 %) compared to non-athletes (3.0 %). The most common reason for using dietary supplements was ‘building muscle’ (61.8 %) for males and ‘burning fat’ (29.4 %) for females. The most common source of information was trainers (52.8 %), followed by internet (29.2 %) and other athletes (23.6 %).


According to our results, although the rate of dietary supplement use among adolescents in North Cyprus was much less compared to other countries, the behaviors of adolescents about dietary supplements were similar. Therefore, education of the adolescents should be the priority for the intervention programs and the legal regulations must also be done to protect the adolescents from excess, unnecessary and inappropriate use of dietary supplements.

Keywords: Adolescent, athletes, nutritional supplements, motivation