A Comprehensive Health Plan: The Lifestyle Affecting Factors in Iranian Youth

Ahdieh Chinekesh, Seyed Ali Hoseini, Farahnaz Mohammadi Shahbolaghi, Mohammad Esmael Motlagh, Monir Baradaran Eftekhari, Gelayol Ardalan, Shirin Djalalinia


Background: Factors affecting lifestyle become one of the most priorities of the research feld, especially in adolescents and youth. Using a qualitative approach, this study aimed to understand what factors are affecting young people’s healthy lifestyle.

Methods: Using the conventional content analysis, and used the semi‑structured in‑depth interviews, we conducted a qualitative study to elicit the youth opinion considering their lifestyle affecting factors. Initially, purposeful sampling method was considered for data collection. Participants were selected from volunteered youths 18–30 years whom were selected from the Tehran city. Inclusion criteria for the participants were; (a) willingness to participate in the study, and (b) ability to express experiences.

Results: According to fndings, although the majority of participants agreed on the important role of lifestyle related behaviors in their healthy life, the lack of essential motivation and the pressure of educational assignments
remove it from their daily program priorities. The most important barrier to observing the healthy lifestyle was expressed as; the acceptance of the concept by the individual and the social and economic potential of the individual. It was also suggested that practical interventions should focus
on improving more participator engagement of all of the related stakeholders.

Conclusions: We proposed the participatory strategies for youth healthy lifestyle promotion. Through which based on a specifc needs the assessment of different target groups, designing, development, and implementation of health programs led to more effective interventions.

Keywords: Iran, lifestyle, qualitative study, youth

Full Text:



Cockerham WC. Health lifestyle theory and the convergence of

agency and structure. J Health Soc Behav 2005;46:51‑67.

Najem GR, Passannante MR, Foster JD. Health risk factors

and health promoting behavior of medical, dental and nursing

students. J Clin Epidemiol 1995;48:841‑9.

Nola IA, Jelinić JD, Matanić D, Pucarin‑Cvetković J,

Bergman Marković B, Senta A, et al. Differences in eating and lifestyle habits between first‑ and sixth‑year medical students

from Zagreb. Coll Antropol 2010;34:1289‑94.

Foy CG, Lewis CE, Hairston KG, Miller GD, Lang W, Jakicic JM,

et al. Intensive lifestyle intervention improves physical function

among obese adults with knee pain: Findings from the look

AHEAD trial. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2011;19:83‑93.

Holmbäck I, Ericson U, Gullberg B, Wirfält E. Five meal

patterns are differently associated with nutrient intakes, lifestyle

factors and energy misreporting in a sub‑sample of the Malmö

Diet and Cancer cohort. Food Nutr Res 2009;1:49‑54.

Khanna DP, Kaushik R, Kaur G. Changing dietary pattern and

lifestyle on diseases. Asian J Multidimens Res 2012;1:49‑54.

Taghdisi MH, Doshmangir P, Dehdari T, Doshmangir L.

Influencing factors on healthy lifestyle from viewpoint of elderly

people: Qualitative study. Salmand Iran J Ageing 2013;7:47‑58.

Davies N. Promoting healthy ageing: The importance of lifestyle.

Nurs Stand 2011;25:43‑9.

Ye YL, Wang PG, Qu GC, Yuan S, Phongsavan P, He QQ, et al.

Associations between multiple health risk behaviors and mental

health among Chinese college students. Psychol Health Med


Waterman AS. Identity development from adolescence to

adulthood: An extension of theory and a review of research. Dev

Psychol 1982;18:341.

Khosravi A, Chaman R. Epidemiological transition and health

change. Iranian congress of epidemiology. J Knowl Health


Karimi Sani P, Seyedi M. Investigating the relationship between

lifestyle and creativity with academic motivation among female

high school students in Khoy city in the academic year of 92‑93.

Sci Res J Azad Univ 2014;7:161‑80.

Solhi M, Shabani MH, Salehi M. Determinants of quality of

life in Female‑headed households based on educational and

ecological cognition stage of precede‑proceed model, Razi J Med

Sci 2016;23:109‑18.

Mayring P. Qualitative Content Analysis: Theoretical Background

and Procedures. Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapt

er/10.1007%2F978‑94‑017‑9181‑6_13/. [Last accessed on 2017

Nov 2].

Hsieh HF, Shannon SE. Three approaches to qualitative content

analysis. Qual Health Res 2005;15:1277‑88.

Graneheim UH, Lundman B. Qualitative content analysis in

nursing research: Concepts, procedures and measures to achieve

trustworthiness. Nurse Educ Today 2004;24:105‑12.

Cohen D, Crabtree B. Lincoln and Guba’s evaluative

criteria. Qualitative Research Guideline Project. July 2006.

Available from: http:// www.qualres.org/HomeLinc‑3684.html/.

[Last accessed on 2017 Nov 2].

Elo S, Kaariainen M, Kanste O, Polkki T,

Utriainen K, Kyngäs H. Qualitative content analysis a focus

on trustworthiness .Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/

doi/abs/10.1177/2158244014522633/. [Last accessed on 2017

Nov 2].

Peykari N, Eftekhari MB, Tehrani FR, Afzali HM, Hejazi F,

Atoofi MK, et al. Promoting physical activity participation

among adolescents: The barriers and the suggestions. Int J Prev

Med 2015;6:12.

Babanejad M, Khesht Zarin H, Sayehmiri K, Delpisheh A.

Lifestyle investigation and its associated factors in students

of Ilam University of Medical Sciences. Pejouhandeh


Anand P, Kunnumakkara AB, Sundaram C, Harikumar KB,

Tharakan ST, Lai OS, et al. Cancer is a preventable disease that

requires major lifestyle changes. Pharm Res 2008;25:2097‑116.

von Bothmer MI, Fridlund B. Gender differences in health

habits and in motivation for a healthy lifestyle among Swedish

University Students. Nurs Health Sci 2005;7:107‑18.

Mansorian M, Qorbani M, Solaimani MA, Maoodi R, Rahimi E,

Asayesh H. A survey of lifestyle and its influential Factors

among the University Student in Gorgan. J Jahrom Univ Med

Sci 2009;7:62‑71.

Motlagh Z, Mazloomy‑Mahmoodabad SS, Momayyezi M. Study

of Health‑promotion behaviors among university of medical

science students. Zahedan J Res Med Sci 2011;13:29‑34.

Peker K, Bermek G. Predictors of health‑promoting behaviors

among freshman dental students at Istanbul University. J Dent

Educ 2011;75:413‑20.

Sallis JF, Glanz K. Physical activity and food environments:

Solutions to the obesity epidemic. Milbank Q 2009;87:123‑54.

Puhl RM, Heuer CA. Obesity stigma: Important considerations

for public health. Am J Public Health 2010;100:1019‑28.

Mahmood Abad SM, Mehri A, Morovati Sharif Abad MA.

Association of self‑confidence and self‑efficacy with health

behaviors in Shahid Sadooghi University of Medical Sciences.

J Med Educ Dev Stud Cent 2007;3:111‑7.

Whitehead S, Biddle S. Adolescent girl’s perceptions of

physical activity: A focus group study. Eur Phys Educ Rev


Allender S, Cowburn G, Foster C. Understanding participation in

sport and physical activity among children and adults: A review

of qualitative studies. Health Educ Res 2006;21:826‑35.

Kelishadi R, Ardalan G, Gheiratmand R, Gouya MM,

Razaghi EM, Delavari A, et al. Association of physical activity

and dietary behaviours in relation to the body mass index in a

national sample of Iranian children and adolescents: CASPIAN

study. Bull World Health Organ 2007;85:19‑26.