University Students Intend to Eat Better but Lack Coping Self-Efficacy and Knowledge of Dietary Recommendations.

Auteur(s) :
Dworatzek PD., Matthews JI., Doerr L.
Date :
Sep, 2015
Source(s) :
Journal of nutrition education and behavior. #: p
Adresse :
Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Brescia University College, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada; Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Sommaire de l'article


To assess university students' knowledge, intentions, and coping self-efficacy related to dietary recommendations.


The study used a cross-sectional online survey.


Large university campus.


Students (n = 6,638; 22% response).


Self-efficacy and intentions were measured using 11-point scales. Students' perceived dietary recommendations were evaluated as correct or incorrect.


Categorical variables were analyzed using chi-square and continuous variables by t tests or ANOVAs. Significance was set at P ≤ .05 and multiple comparisons at P ≤ .01.


Respondents believed that they need fewer vegetables and fruit and more milk or alternatives servings/d than recommended; eg, males aged ≥ 19 years perceived milk or alternatives recommendations to be 4.3 ± 2.1 servings/d, significantly more than the 2 servings/d recommended (P < .001). Students in health sciences or with a food or nutrition course were significantly more likely to claim that they met recommendations (eg, 56% with vs 47% without a food or nutrition course for vegetables and fruit; P < .001); however, they were no more likely to identify them correctly. Males aged < 19 years had higher coping self-efficacy than females aged < 19 years to consume vegetables (68.3 ± 24.2 vs 64.0 ± 24.7; P < .01) and avoid high-calorie foods and beverages (HCFB) (56.2 ± 27.2 vs 49.0 ± 25.2; P < .01) when under stress; however, they had significantly lower intentions to consume vegetables (72.1 ± 24.5 vs 80.9 ± 20.3; P < .01) and avoid HCFB (60.5 ± 30.3 vs 77.7 ± 22.8; P < .01).


Students do not have adequate knowledge of age- and sex-specific food guide recommendations. Simpler food guide recommendations or age- and sex-targeted campaigns may enhance knowledge. Students intend to consume more vegetables and less HCFB; however, they have low coping self-efficacy, all of which could be targeted in nutrition interventions.

Source : Pubmed