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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-16

Factors associated with the dietary habits and nutritional status of undergraduate students in a private university in Southern Nigeria


1 Department of Biochemistry, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Igbinedion University Okada, Benin City, Edo, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kingsley Omage
Department of Biochemistry, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Igbinedion University Okada, Benin, Edo
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njecp.njecp_1_19

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was conducted to determine the factors associated with the dietary habits and nutritional status of undergraduate students in Igbinedion University, Okada. Methodology: A total of 800 undergraduate students who participated in the study were selected using a multistage sampling method. The study applied a cross-sectional, descriptive study design, and data were collected using a pretested, structured self-administered questionnaire. Data were analyzed using the SPSS statistical package (version 22.0), and the level of significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: The mean age of respondents was 23.5 ± 2.4 years, with the highest proportion of 41.0% within the 19–21 years age group. The proportion of respondents who snacked was significantly higher among those who had an average monthly allowance of ≥₦11,000 (440). A higher proportion of those who had one sibling (30.8%) and three siblings (62.7%) had a medium dietary diversity and high Dietary Diversity Score (DDS), respectively. The difference in DDS observed with increasing average monthly allowance was statistically significant. Over three-quarters of the fathers of the respondents (85.0%) and two-thirds of the respondents' mothers (74.5%) had tertiary level of education. All married respondents (100.0%) ate 3 main meals per day and a significantly higher proportion of single respondents (55.3%) ate <3 main meals per day. The proportion of overweight respondents was higher among those who were ≥28 years old 8 (22.2%) and 100 (83.3%) of those in the 16–18 years age group had a normal body mass index. Conclusion: The factors, which affect the dietary habits and nutritional status of undergraduate students of Igbinedion University, Okada, include age, sex, number of siblings, marital status, monthly allowance, and level of education of parents.


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