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Anthropometric Indices, Food Choices And Food Consumption Pattern Of Undergraduate Students In Imo State University




The study evaluated the Anthropometric indices, food choices and food consumption pattern of undergraduates in Imo State University, three hundred undergraduates (aged 15-25years) participated in the study. General information, anthropometric data as well 24-hour diet recall were obtained by means of questionnaire. The result showed that the subjects were 300 (55.0% female and 45.0% male) more than 44.0% of the respondents consumed vegetable and fruits. Majority (92.4%) of the respondents took snacks. More than one third (43.0%) of the respondents ate twice in a day while more than three quarters (88.3%) of the respondents skipped meals. Reasons given by (40.0%) and (32.3%) of the respondents for skipping meals were due to lack of time and too many activities. More than half (65.3%) of the respondents took breakfast at home, less than one third (32.3%) of the respondents took their mid morning snacks at school. Underweight was more prevalent among respondents 20years and below, 18-20yrs (9.8%) and 15-18years (8.7%) compared to 6.0% in 20-22years and 5.2% (22-25years) more than one quarter (26.1%) of the respondents aged 15-18years were overweight and 8.7% obesed, while 23.3% of the respondents aged 22-25years were overweight were and 9.5% were obesed. There was no significant (X2=11.760; P=0.697) association between age distribution of the respondents and their body mass index indicators. Underweight was more prevalent among the females (7.9%) compared to male (5.2%) 25.9% of the male were overweight and 7.4% obesed compared to 17.6% of female respondents who were also overweight and 7.2% of the female were obesed. There was no significant (X2=7.703; P=0.173) association between sex of the respondents and their body mass index. Findings from the study suggested that nutrition knowledge has to be transformed into habits so as to affect nutritional status.

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Poor food habit and nutritional status of undergraduates are highly prevalent in most universities in Nigeria generally (Jellife 2006).

A young adult is a person who just passed the stage of adolescence. Thus among undergraduates population, late adolescent and early adulthood would be found. During this period, their total nutrient need to reach the highest peak and healthy eating is important so as to meet their increased body demands. With many stress and school activities, they face being on their own, it can deny them from cultivating a healthy eating habit (Jackson, et al. 2011).

Malnutrition is a major problem in both developed and developing countries and deficiencies in some nutrients have been reported to cause disease which could lead to impaired cognitive development (Simeon and McGregor, 2014). Other studies have been related to lifestyles of students particularly breakfast consumption to their cognitive abilities as reflected in their academic performance (Lisa, 2013). The concept of fast food eating has expanded into food sales in schools, many students skip breakfast having in mind to eat when they go to school thereby making them feed on same type of food. These, makes them not to mind if they are getting their required nutrients intake or not. Qlan, (2011) noted that due to time constraints some students may neglect the days entire meal and as a result resort to late night binge eating.

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Some dietary patterns which include snacking (usually on energy dense food), meal skipping (particularly breakfast) appear quite common among undergraduate students. Some of these factors have been associated with overweight and obesity (Thompson, et al. 2010). As young adults move into an independent living situation, there is a high risk for unhealthy eating habits (Gower, et al. 2010).


The factors that affects the nutritional status of undergraduate students includes skipping of meals due to lectures, laziness to cook, snack/soft drink consumption, financial constraints and host of other problems. The above factors always adversely affect their academic performance as well as the general well being in terms of nutrition.


This is to check the Anthropometric Indices, Food choices and Food consumption patterns of students in Imo State University.


Were to:

  1. access the nutritional status of undergraduates in Imo State University using Anthropometry.
  2. assess the dietary pattern, (food habit and food choices) of Imo State University students with respect to their nutritional status.
  • determine the constraints in their food consumption habits.


  1. To improve the nutritional status of students in Imo State University through sensitization on the need to improve their food choices and food consumption pattern, for better academic performance and good nutritional health.
  2. To add to the data based on strategies to improve undergraduates’ nutritional status.
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Pages:  76

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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