DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20184027

Dietary and physical activity habits of All Saints University College of Medicine Students, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Joshua B. Owolabi, Habibah O. Ayantayo, Nicholas F. Nwachukwu, Thomas K. Thomas, Ekei E. Ekpenyong

Abstract


Background: The purpose of this research was to assess the dietary and physical activity habits of All Saints University College of Medicine students to determine if they were meeting the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines government’s dietary guidelines and to ascertain the prevalence of overweight and obesity among the students.

Methods: Data were collected from the participants using a survey concerned with demographics, and self-assessment on dietary and physical activity habits. Descriptive statistics was used to report and analyse the data.

Results: Study subjects consisted of 76 students. Eighty three percent of them were between the ages of 16 and 25 years. Sixty–one percent were female and 39% were male. The majority of the student respondents (76%) were aware of the importance of eating healthy and being physically active each day, and 50-66% of the respondents engaged in and enjoyed physical activity, achieved the recommended daily amount of vegetable intake, were at a normal body mass index (18.5-24.9 kg/m2) and reported satisfaction with their weight. However, majority (80%) of the respondents consumed fast food; about a third of them did not consume fruits nor exercise regularly, reporting lack of time, interest and self-discipline as major reasons.

Conclusions: The results indicate that the majority of All Saints University Medical College students had high level of knowledge of overweight and obesity and were involved in some healthy behaviours that helped them achieve normal BMI. However, the poor nutritional and physical activity habits of many of the students could benefit from intervention programs to moderate the tendency for overweight and obesity in the student population.


Keywords


Body mass index, Diet, Medical college students, Overweight, Obesity, Physical activity

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