Knowledge of recommended dietary cholesterol allowance in an academic community
This study was designed to assess the plasma cholesterol level and consumer awareness of recommended dietary cholesterol allowance in an academic environment. A total of 100 structured questionnaires were randomly distributed within Babcock University community, Ilisan Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria. Ninety seven (97) completed questionnaires were retrieved. Venous blood samples of 60 volunteered participants were also collected for biochemical assays involving plasma levels of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose concentrations. Results showed that 53(54.6%), 75(77.3%) and 74(76.3%) of the females, nonvegetarians and respondents in sciences, respectively had previous knowledge of the term “dietary cholesterol”. Females 34(35.1%), non-vegetarians 48(49.5%) and respondents in sciences 50(51.5%), respectively were aware of the negative effect of excess dietary cholesterol consumption. In addition, 35(36.1%), 64(66%) and 40(41.2%) of females, non- vegetarians and respondents in sciences consumed poultry eggs at least once a week. Males 35(36.1%), females 35(36.1%), nonvegetarians 54(55.7%) and respondents in sciences 61(62.9%) had never checked their blood cholesterol level. Males 31(32%), non-vegetarian 47(48.5%) and respondents in sciences 40(42.2%) were not aware of the recommended dietary cholesterol allowance and they ate fried foods and confectionaries sometimes. Further study revealed that mean plasma total cholesterol (141.73 ± 20.51 mg/dl), LDLcholesterol (69.80 ± 9.86 mg/dl), triglyceride (209.16 ± 15.58 mg/dl), and glucose (52.27 ± 7.94 mg/dl) concentrations in males were slightly elevated compared to the total cholesterol (141.36 ± 9.75 mg/dl), triglyceride (205.43 ± 6.55 mg/dl), LDLcholesterol (55.52 ± 4.03 mg/dl) and glucose (48.93 ± 3.18 mg/dl) concentrations in females while HDL-cholesterol concentrations of males (30.10 ± 11.96 mg/dl) were significantly lower (P<0.05) compared to those of females (44.75 ± 9.21 mg/dl). Plasma lipid and glucose concentrations of the respondents under the normal body weight category were significantly low (P<0.05) compared to those in overweight and obese body weight categories. Thus, this investigation indicated an inadequate level of awareness and practice of the recommended dietary cholesterol allowance among the educated.
Key words: Cholesterol, diet, glucose, knowledge, institution.
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