The college student population is prone to irregular food intake and the excessive intake of carbohydrates and snacks. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships among anthropometric characteristics, dietary habits and nutritional knowledge in female students attending a healthcare college.
Our investigation enrolled 100 college students at the High Health School of Professional Studies in Belgrade, 19-30 years old, who underwent anthropometric measurements and an investigation by questionnaire of their nutritional knowledge as well as recorded a 7-day food diary. The results were interpreted in relation to their location of nutritional intake.
The majority of students showed good nutritional knowledge. Of the total population, 83% were of normal weight, 11% were overweight, and 5% were underweight. The average Body Mass Index values, as well as body fat percentage, were similar regardless of the type of eating location, but all overweight and obese students were recorded in the groups that ate in the student dining facility and that prepared food and ate by themselves. Students who ate with their families ate significantly fewer fats and proteins but significantly more carbohydrates compared to students in the other two groups. Higher fat intake and snack consumption are significantly related to an increased percentage of body fat. Fruit intake is inversely related to body fat percentage.
Despite the relatively low prevalence of overweight, obesity, and underweight in the investigated population, the given results indicate that students may benefit from health promotion activities, increased knowledge and improved eating habits. This is especially important considering that they are future health professionals.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
1. World Health Organisation Obesity: preventing and mangining the global epidemic Report of who consultation. WHO Tach rep Ser 2000; 894.1-253.
2. Malarius A Seidell JC Sans S Tuomilehto J Kuulasmaa K. Educationel level relative body weight and changes in their association over 10 years: an international perspective from teh WHO MONICA Project. Am J Public Health 2000; 90:1260-8.
3. Troung K Sturn R. Does the obesity epidemic widen sociodemographic health disparties in the US Rand Institute. 2004; 94(9):1555-1559.
4. Drewnowski A Specter SE. Poverty and obesity: the role of energy density and energy costs. Am J Clin Nutr 2004; 79:6-16.
5. Cawley J. An economic framework for understanding physical activity and eating behaviours. Am J Prev Med 2004; 27:117-25.
6. Mokdad AH Bowman BA Ford ES Vinicor F Marks JS Koplan JP. The continuing epidemics of obesity and diabetes in the United States. JAMA 2001; 286:1195-2000.
7. Zdravlje stanovnika Srbije-analitička studija 1997-2007 Institut za javno zdravlje Srbije „Dr Milan Jovanović-Batut“ Beograd. 2008.
8. Grujić V Martinov-Cvejin M Ač Nikolić E Nićiforović-Šurković O. Epidemiologija gojaznosti odraslog stanovništva Vojvodine. Med Pregled 2005; 58(5-6):292-5.
9. Hovell MF Randle Y Fowler-Johnson S. Risk of excess weight gain in university women: A three year community controlled analysis. Addict Behav 1985; 10:15-28.
10. Levitsky DA Halbmaier CA Mrdjenovic G. The freshman weight gain: a model for the study of the epidemic of obesity. Int J Obes 2004; 28:1435-1442.
11. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Update: Prevalence of Overweight among children adolescents and adults-United States 1988-1994. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1997; 46:199-202.
12. Macht M Haupt C Ellgring H. The perceived function of eating is changed during examination stress: a field study. Eating Behaviors 2005; 6:109-112.
13. Serlachius A Hamer M Wardle J. Stress and weight change in university students in the United Kingdom. Physiology and Behavior 2007; 92:548-553.
14. James PT. Obesity: the worldwrde epidemic Clin Dermatol 2004: 22:276.80.
15. Lev-Ran A. Human obesity an evolutionary approach to understanding our bulging waist line. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2001; 17:347-62.
16. Stakić E Srdić B. Analiza telesne kompozicije. Acta Clin 2007: 7(2).45-7.
17. Marges-Vidal P Pecaud A Hayoz D Paccaud F Meoser V Waeber G et al. Normal weight obesity; relations hip with lipids glycacmic status liver enzymes and inflamation. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2010; 20(9):669-7.
18. Gallagher D Heymsfield S Hero M Jebbs Murgatroyd R Sakamoto Y. Healthy percentage body fat ranges: an approach for developing based on body mass index. Am J Clic Nutr 2000; 72(3):694-701.
19. Wardle J Paramenter K Weller J. Nutrition knowledge and food intake. Appetite 2000; 34:269-75.
20. Sektor za Investicije učenički i studentski standard i javne nabavke. Standardi Normativi i Jela. Beograd: Ministarstvo prosvete i nauke Republike Srbije 2011.
21. Ogden C L Kuczmarski R J Flegal K M Mei Z Guo S Wei R at ol Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000 growth charts for the United States: impovements to the 1977 National Center for Health Statistics version Pediatrics 2002 Jan; 109(1):45-60. Pub Med.
22. Srdić B Dimitrić G Obradović B. Antropološke karakteristike studenata Fakulteta sporta i fizičkog vaspitanja. Glasnik ADS 2009; 44:463-70.
23. Lovery R Geluska D.A Fulton J.E Whechsler H Kann L Physical activity food choice and weight management goals and practices among US college students. Am J Preven Med 2000; 18(6):18-27.
24. Simić S Vasić G Jokanić D Body height body mass and nutrition status of students of the university of Novi Sad Socijalna mdicina 2010; 9(4-6):141-146.
25. Nanakorn S Osaka R Chusilp K Tsuda A Maskasame S Ratanasiri A. Gender differences in health-related practices among university students in northeast Thailand. Asia-Pac-J-Public-Health 1999; 11(1):10-5