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2012 (Vol. 4, Issue: 5)
Article Information:

Nutritional Status among a Sample of Saudi College Students

Jafar M. El-Qudah, Hasan Al-Omran, Bassam Abu-Alsoud and Tasnim O. I. Al-Shek Yousef
Corresponding Author:  Jafar M. El-Qudah 

Key words:  BMI, KSA, nutritional status, obesity, students, ,
Vol. 4 , (5): 557-562
Submitted Accepted Published
May 15, 2012 June 15, 2012 September 20, 2012

Nutritional habits and health behaviors have been a major concern for public health, especially among vulnerable groups such as teenage and college students. This study aims to assess nutritional status of a sample of Saudi college students and their dietary behaviors. A multi-stage sample was obtained from a private college in the north-western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Descriptive statistics was used to assess the frequency of some nutritional habits and their correlation to Body Mass Index (BMI). The results show that overweight and obese subjects represented 22.6 and 11.6% of the students respectively, compared to 13.7% for underweight subjects. Twenty five percent of male and 20.3% of female students were overweight while 16.7% of male and 6.7% of female students were obese. There was a statistical significant difference between males and females in relation to the mean weight and height (p<0.001) and BMI (p<0.05). Approximately 15.7% of the subjects skip their breakfast daily. Both males (50%) and females (45.9%) used to eat their meals irregularly. More than 58% of the students stated that they consume fast foods, the proportion of females was more (64.9%) than the males (51.4%) and the difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). A relatively small percentage (21.2%) of students reported not eating burgers and a majority of respondents 61% preferred regular size burgers. However, the tendency to eat large size burgers was more pronounced among males than females (p<0.05). A regular portion size of potato chips was preferred by 61% of the students, among them 24.3% were females and 11.1% were males (p<0.01). There was a wide range of preferences for consumption of different foods among participants. Females showed a higher rate in the consumption of sweets and chocolates on daily basis (28.4 and 29.7%, respectively) compared to males (18.1 and 16.6%, respectively) (p<0.05). Males were more prone to consume red meat (p<0.05) and fish (p<0.05) than females. It is recommended to further investigate the eating habits of college students in KSA and propose interventions to improve such habits.
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  Cite this Reference:
Jafar M. El-Qudah, Hasan Al-Omran, Bassam Abu-Alsoud and Tasnim O. I. Al-Shek Yousef, 2012. Nutritional Status among a Sample of Saudi College Students.  Current Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 4(5): 557-562.
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ISSN (Online):  2041-0778
ISSN (Print):   2041-076X
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