Eating Habits and Standard Body Parameters Among Students at University of Banja Luka

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Abstract

Poor dietary habits have become one of the most important concerns among public health policy makers in recent years, due to the impact they have on both economic and health systems of a country. The transitional period toward young adulthood, marked with high school graduation and the beginning of college years, has been identified as critical in terms of its influence on young people’s bad eating habits. The aim of this study was to assess whether the results obtained through Food Frequency Questionnaire significantly correlate with standard body parameters. Participants included 210 students from the University of Banja Luka, with the mean age of 21.94 ± 2.73 years. Factorization of Food Frequency Questionnaire Instrument extracted seven factors which were subjected to multiple regression analysis as independent variables, and correlated to dependent variables - anthropological measurements. This study shows that the factors labeled as consumption of bread, consumption of healthy food, and intake of carbohydrates, are significantly related to Body Fat Percentage, whereas factors labeled as intake of food of animal origin, and intake of fruits and vegetables, are statistically significant in terms of their relation to Waist-to-Hip Ratio. Only one factor, labeled as intake of unhealthy food, is significantly related to Body Mass Index; this is to suggest that Body Mass Index has again showed many limitations with regard to its research relevance. This research has also found that students of the University of Banja Luka typically consume white bread, known to have a direct link with overweight and obesity.

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