Journal of Food and Nutritional DisordersISSN: 2324-9323

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Food Habits, Obesity and Nutritional Knowledge among the University Students in Noakhali Region of Bangladesh: A Cross Sectional Study

Food Habits, Obesity and Nutritional Knowledge among the University Students in Noakhali Region of Bangladesh: A Cross Sectional Study

Objective: Obesity is emerging as a foremost health problem. In this regard, the study was undertaken to evaluate the prevalence of overweight and obesity rates in association with food habits and nutritional knowledge among the university students of Noakhali region, a southern coastal area of Bangladesh. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted during the period of October to December in 2013. A total of 200 students (50% male and 50% female) aged 18-24 years participated in the present study. Statistical analysis was done by using the SPSS software (version 16) to determine overweight and obesity among students and to sort out eating habits. Results: The study results found that the majority (70%) of the students were of normal weight; 77% male in contrast to 66% female students (P<0.05). The study also reported that prevalence of overweight and obesity was frequent among male students compared to female students (P<0.05). The study results demonstrated that irregular intake of breakfast and dinner, eating junk food and fried food regularly, lack of knowledge about balance nutrition and obesity, habits of eating outside of the residence frequently and sleeping at noon regularly are the reasons behind the overweight and obesity. Moreover, students were also found not to take part in regular exercise or sports which are considered as a major risk factor to become overweight or obese. Intake of fruits was rare among students with an insignificant gender difference in the frequency of fruits intake (P>0.05). Intake of alcohol containing beverages and smoking was not common among female students but it’s familiar with male students. Conclusion: Our findings recommend that the propensity of overweight and obesity among the university students can be reduced by providing proper knowledge at all levels (family, institution, community and government) on the healthy diet, improved lifestyle and harmful effect of obesity.

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