Dietary and physical activity habits of All Saints University College of Medicine Students, St Vincent and the Grenadines
Keywords:Body mass index, Diet, Medical college students, Overweight, Obesity, Physical activity
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.
Chan RS, Woo J. Prevention of overweight and obesity: how effective is the current public health approach. Int J Environm Res Public Health. 2010 Feb 26;7(3):765-83.
Romero-Corral A, Somers VK, Sierra-Johnson J, Thomas RJ, Collazo-Clavell ML, Korinek J, et al. Accuracy of body mass index in diagnosing obesity in the adult general population. Int J Obesity. 2008 Jun;32(6):959.
The Global Burden of Disease (GBD). 2015. Obesity Collaborators. health effects of overweight and obesity in 195 countries over 25 years. N Engl J Med. 2017;377:13-27.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2017. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i7914e.pdf. Accessed 28 December 2017.
FAO. Dietary guidelines for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 2006. Available at: http://www.fao.org/nutrition/education/food-based-dietary-guidelines/regions/countries/saint-vincent-and-the-grenadines/en/. Accessed 28 December 2017.
Albert JL, Samuda PM, Molina V, Regis TM, Severin M, Finlay B, et al. Developing food-based dietary guidelines to promote healthy diets and lifestyles in the Eastern Caribbean. J Nutr Edu Behav. 2007 Nov 1;39(6):343-50.
Peters-Bascombe D. Self-management of hypertension among residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Doctoral Dissertation, D'Youville College, Division of Academic Affairs, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. 2011.
McGuire M, Freyder M, Ricketts P. A Review of Diabetes Treatment Adherence Interventions for the Eastern Caribbean. Measure Evaluation/USAID 2013; 1-25. Available at: http://www.cpc.unc.edu/measure/resources/publications/sr-14-90. Accessed 28 December 2017.
Deliens T, Clarys P, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Deforche B. Determinants of eating behaviour in university students: a qualitative study using focus group discussions. BMC Public Health. 2014 Dec;14(1):53.
Deliens T, Deforche B, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Clarys P. Determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in university students: a qualitative study using focus group discussions. BMC Public Health. 2015 Dec;15(1):201.
World Health Organization (WHO). Global recommendations on physical activity for health, 2010. Available at: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44399/1/9789241599979_eng.pdf. Accessed 28 December 2017.
Franz DD, Feresu SA. The relationship between physical activity, body mass index, and academic performance and college-age students. Open J Epidemiol. 2013 Feb 19;3(1):4.
Anderson AS, Good DJ. Increased body weight affects academic performance in university students. Prevent Med Rep. 2017;5:220-3.
West, C. D. D. Eating and physical activity habits of college students. undergraduate honours theses. 2012. Available at https://dc.etsu.edu/honors/45. Accessed 7 September 2016.
Knoema. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Female obesity prevalence as a share of female ages 18+. World Data Atlas: World and regional statistics, national data, maps, rankings, 2017a. Available at: https://knoema.com/atlas/Saint-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/Female-obesity-prevalence. Accessed 2 January 2018.
Knoema. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Male obesity prevalence as a share of female ages 18+. World Data Atlas: World and regional statistics, national data, maps, rankings, 2017b. Available at: https://knoema.com/atlas/Saint-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/Female-obesity-prevalence. Accessed 2 January 2018.
Peltzer K, Pengpid S, Samuels T, Özcan N, Mantilla C, Rahamefy O, et al. Prevalence of overweight/obesity and its associated factors among university students from 22 countries. Int J Environm Res Public Health. 2014 Jul 21;11(7):7425-41.
Harrison K. The body electric: Thin-ideal media and eating disorders in adolescents. J Communication. 2000 Sep 1;50(3):119-43.
Shrivastava S, Shrivastava P, Ramasamy J. Assessment of knowledge about obesity among students in a medical college in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu. Prog Health Sci. 2013 Jun 1;3(1):54-60.
Ramaiah RR. Prevalence of obesity and awareness of its risk factors among medical students of a rural teaching hospital of south India: a cross-sectional study. Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2015 Oct 1;4(10):1373-6.
Anding JD, Suminski RR, Boss L. Dietary intake, body mass index, exercise, and alcohol: are college women following the dietary guidelines for Americans?. J Am Coll Health. 2001 Jan 1;49(4):167-71.
Agha SA, Agha MA, Usman G, Agha Z. Assessment of the perceptions of health among medical students. Gomal J Med Sci. 2011;9(2):219-22.
Rubina A, Shoukat S, Raza R, Shiekh MM, Rashid Q, Siddique MS, et al. Knowledge and practice of healthy lifestyle and dietary habits in medical and nonmedical students of Karachi, Pakistan. J Pak Med Assoc. 2009;59(9):650-55.
Malak E, Hiba A, Mustafa K. Eating habits among medical students in a Sudanese medical faculty. Int Res J Med Medical Sci. 2015;3(3):64-9.
Schroeter C, House L, Lorence A. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among College Students in Arkansas and Florida: Food and Culture vs. Health Knowledge. Int Food Agribusiness Manag Review. 2007;10(3):63.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC. Fruit and vegetable consumption among adults-United States, 2005. Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report. 2007 Mar 16;56(10):213.
Ramezankhani A, Gharlipour Z, Motalebi M, Heydarabadi AB, Bazhan M, Imanzad M, et al. Consumption of fruits and vegetables among college students living in dormitory in Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. J Paramed Sci. 2013 Sep 17;5(1).
Pérez CE. Fruit and vegetable consumption. Health Rep. 2002 Mar 1;13(3):23-31.
WHO. Global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030: More active people for a healthier world. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. Available at: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272722/9789241514187-eng.pdf. Accessed 2 May 2018.