Home / PUBLIC HEALTH PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS / ASSESSMENT OF DIETARY PATTERN AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS OF CROSS RIVER UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY CALABAR, NIGERIA

ASSESSMENT OF DIETARY PATTERN AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS OF CROSS RIVER UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY CALABAR, NIGERIA

ASSESSMENT OF DIETARY PATTERN AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS OF CROSS RIVER  UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY CALABAR, NIGERIA

 

ASSESSMENT OF DIETARY PATTERN AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS OF CROSS RIVER  UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY CALABAR, NIGERIA

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the Study

Nutrition forms the foundation for human health and development across all stages of the life course. Almost one in three people on the planet grapple with a lack of adequate nutrition, making this one of the most devastating problems to face the global community.  (WHO, 2015). Adequate nutrition in an individual is important for both current and future health, as this period is perhaps the only window of opportunity for the catch-up nutrition needed to prevent a vicious inter-generational effect of malnutrition World Health Organization, (WHO, 2015). According to WHO in 2014, every country in the world is affected by one or more forms of malnutrition. Combating malnutrition in all it forms is one of the greatest global health challenges. Around 45% of death among individuals are linked to undernutrition. These mostly occur in low and middle-income countries. At the same time, in these countries, rates of overweight and obesity are rising (United Nation, 2012). Also, malnutrition increases health care costs, reduces productivity and lows economic growth, which can perpetuate a cycle of poverty and ill-health (WHO, 2014).

Globally, people are consuming foods and drinks that are more energy dense (high in sugar and fats), and engaging in less physical activity. Unhealthy diet and poor nutrition are among the top risk factors for diet -related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and diabetes globally (United Nation, 2016). Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States: about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of college students are obese (Centre for Diseases Control, 2011).

Dietary pattern (DP) is the general profile of food and nutrients consumption which is characterized on the basis of the usual eating habits (World Health Organization WHO, 2015). The assessment of dietary patterns gives a more comprehensive impression of the food consumption habits within a population. It may be better at predicting the risk of disease than the analysis of isolated nutrients or food because the joint effect of various nutrients involved would be better identified (Hu, 2002).

Patterns of nutritional behavior adopted in adolescents are mostly continued in adults life and increased the risk of development of many chronic disease (Kpakaskrzypczak et al. 2012). Diet in childhood and adolescent have public health implication due to evidence relating poor nutrition in childhood to subsequent obesity and elevated risk for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease (Canete, Gil-Campos, Aguilera, and Gil, 2007) which are increasing in prevalence (WHO, 2004).

Nutritional status is the sum total at an individual anthropemetric indices as influenced by intake and utilization of nutrients, which is  determined from information obtained by physical, biochemical and dietary studies (UN, 2013). It is a result of interrelated factors influenced by quality and quantity of food consumed and the physical health of the individual. The transition from adolescence to adulthood is an important, period for establishing behavioural patterns that effect long term health and chronic disease risk (Meg small, Bailey-Davis and Maggs, 2012). University students seem to be the most affected by this nutritional transition (Baldini, Pasqui, Bordoni and Maranesi 2009).

Studies have shown that young people leaving their parents and living away from home to attend college experience numerous health-related behavioural changer, which includes adoption of health dietary habits (Cluskey and Grobe 2007). These adoption habits are mostly attributed to drastic changes, in the environment and resource available, frequent exposure to unhealthy food and habits (Huang et al, 2003).

Many undergraduate students are adolescents who encounter numerous health risk along the path to adulthood, many of which affect quality of life and life expectancy studies have shown that youth are particularly vulnerable to poor eating habit and are said to be in the habit of eating “Junks” (Papadaki and Scott, 2002). These poor eating habits may likely arise from lack of knowledge of the cumulative effects of their eating habits. In Nigeria, where there is an increase in fast food centers in urban cities, it is a major concern (Ajala 2009). Most undergraduate are likely to be responsible for their diets for the first time away from home. Therefore they needs guidance on how to make informed dietary choice (Sata, Gahanko, and Siege- R12, 2004). Other studies have linked the lifestyle of students, especially breakfast consumption to their mental abilities which is reflected in their academic performance (FAO, 2015). However, most of these studies have excluded young adults in the tertiary institution since poor dietary habits is a lifestyle challenge undergraduate students face while in school.

  • Statement of the Problem

Adequate nutrition promotes good nutritional status and thus satisfies the requirement to good physical health hence the risk of malnutrition is increased with unhealthy dietary habit and practice (Adamu et al, 2012). Nutritional status has a great impact on the learning capacity of children on their productivity as adults as well as and on their quality of life in general (Flynn et al, 2006). According to the United Nation nearly 870 million people of the 1.7 billion in the world or one in eight suffered from chronic undernourishment in 2010 to 2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries. In Africa nearly one in four people are hungry; the number of hungry people grew over this period from 175 to 220 million, with nearly, 20million added in the last few years only 16 million undernourished people resides in the developed countries (FAO, 2012). It is believed that almost one third of children and adolescent in developing countries are malnourished (FAO, 2015). Contrary to widely held notion that malnutrition is due to poverty, anecdotal evidence suggest that this may be caused by people choosing to eat that the wrong types of food, rather than lack of what to eat which reflect the lifestyle of most undergraduate (Tropy, 2004) many undergraduate students encounter numerous health risk and bear the brunt of undernutrition and suffer the highest risk of disability and death associated with it. Even feeding them later in life in too letter, too expensive and too late to improve nutrition or future productivity (World Bank, 2008). About 60% of young people who die from common disease like malaria and diarrheas would not have died if they are not under nourished in the first place as a result of their dietary habit (WHO, 2016). In 2001 54% of all mortality was attributed directly or indirectly only a small part of the total disease burden due to malnutrition from the choice of eating habit (Salem and Hamza, 2005). These unhealthy habit can lead to undernourishment or overnourishment with the resistant increase in the susceptibility of avoidable disease. University students seem to be the most affected by this nutrition transition. Studies from developed countries have shown that young adult leaving their parent and living away from home to attend college experience numerous health related behavioral changes, including the adoption of unhealthy dietary habit (Ajala, 2006). These behaviour are attributed to drastic, changes in the environment and resources available, frequent exposure to unhealthy, food and habits leading to higher consumption of high calories snacks, fast foods and lower consumption of fruit and vegetable, added to this skipping meals may also become frequent. (Achinihu, 2009).

Evidence shows that providing information on eating habit and on nutritional status result in improved health. Despite this recognition poverty and lack of clear policy on eating habit and nutritional status assessment make it difficult for students to monitor and moderate their eating habit result in malnutrition. Therefore, this study seeks to assess dietary pattern and nutritional status among undergraduate students in Cross River University of Technology, Calabar.

  • General Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to assess dietary pattern and nutritional status among undergraduate students in Cross River University of Technology, Calabar.

1.4       Specific Objective of the Study  

The specific objective of this study are:

  1. To assess the dietary pattern among undergraduate student in the study area.
  2. To assess the nutritional status according to body mass index (BMI) among undergraduate students in the study area.
  3. To determine the frequency of food consumption among undergraduate students in the study area
  4. To compare between dietary pattern and nutritional status of male and female students in the study area.
    • Research Question
  5. What is the dietary pattern of meal among undergraduate students in the study area?
  6. What is the nutritional status according to body mass index (BMI) among undergraduate students in the study area?
  7. What is the frequency of food consumption among undergraduate student in the study area?
  8. What is the dietary pattern of students living in hostel as compared to students living in campus
    • Significance of the Study

The result of the study will provide information that may be used to design and improve on nutritional service provision in school based on health care, especially in Cross River University of Technology, Calabar. Non- governmental organization (NGOs) may use the finding to improve on nutrition services to people in the society. Result on dietary pattern and nutritional status together with recommendation that will be given will provide solution on how to encourage undergraduate students to exhibit healthy eating habit behavior researcher and academicians may further develop area for research based on the findings from this study.

  • Limitation of the Study

Many of the undergraduate students may not like to give information on their dietary pattern and nutritional, status and therefore so much time will be spent in the field to explain the benefit of this study to the undergraduate student to encourage participation.

  • Operational Definition of Terms   
  1. Assessment: Refers to the act of evaluating.
  2. Dietary pattern: Simply refers to food consumption habits within a population.
  3. Nutrition: Is the science of food and it relationship to health.
  4. Nutrition status: Is the sum total of an individual food intake both in terms of quantity and quality and also by the physical health of the individual.
  5. Undergraduate: A students at a university who has not yet received a bachelor degree.
  6. Body mass index: Refers to weight in (kg) over height in metre square (m²).

 

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