Unhealthy nutritional habits in university students are a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Sommaire de l'article
To evaluate the relationship between the nutritional habits of university students with health parameters related to cardiovascular risk.
Three hundred and twelve students (180 females and 132 males; mean age 21.1 +/- 2.8 years) attending King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA were randomly selected from the university register and invited to participate in the study during 2008-2009. Students who consented to participate completed a self-reported questionnaire including: nutritional screen, health habits, and lifestyle practice. Daily food consumption was recorded, and nutritional analysis was performed. Blood pressure (BP) was also measured.
A quarter of students was found to be overweight (21%) or obese (6.5%). The percentage of overweight and obese male students was 23% and 7% compared with female students who were 19% overweight and 6% obese. There was a positive correlation between fat consumption and BMI as well as BP in both genders, between economical status and BMI (p=0.05), and between salty food and BP (p=0.05). There was a negative correlation between consumption of fiber, grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and BMI as well as BP in both genders (p=0.05).
Our findings suggest that lifestyle modification is important especially in young age groups. The preventive interventions should focus not only on obesity, but also on related diseases. There is a need for strategies and coordinated efforts to reduce the tendency of overweight and obesity among college students.