Nutritional Status and Eating Practices among University Students in Selected Universities in Selangor, Malaysia

Hakim, N. H. Abdull; Muniandy, N. D.; Danish, Ajan
August 2012
Asian Journal of Clinical Nutrition;2012, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p77
Academic Journal
University students tend to have poor eating practices and this is related to nutritional status. This cross-sectional study was done to assess nutritional status and eating practices among university student. A total of 200 students (45 males and 55% females) with the mean aged 20 years old from four Malaysian universities in Selangor participated in this study. Participants completed a set of questionnaire and multiple pass 24 h diet recall. Weight, height and waist circumference of participants were measured. Energy and nutrient intake was described in relation to the Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) for Malaysians. 16.7% male students and 20.9% female students were underweight while 17.8% of male student and 10% of female students were overweight. The mean energy intakes among male students were higher compared to female students (male: 1938.5 kcal, female: 1681.84 kcal). There was a significant difference in energy intake, protein and fat intake in regards to gender. More than half of the participants did not meet the Malaysian Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) for energy, protein (female only), calcium and iron (female only). Male students tend to skip breakfast compared to female student with the percentage of 65.6 and 52.8%, respectively. Most students consume fruits (male: 65.6, female: 58.3%) and vegetables (male: 45.6, female: 44.5%) in 1-4 times a week. It is about 33.3% of male students and 29.1% of female students consume fast food several times a week. Present findings suggest the need for intervention that focus on increasing personal valuation of health and nutrition.


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