Influence of Percieved body Image on Nutrient Intake and Nutritional Health of Female Students of Moi University

  • J Waswa


Objectives: Issues related to dietary patterns and body image concerns have been among western cultures. It would therefore be inappropriate to use these findings as a basis of intervention in developing countries because this is an emerging issue in developing countries. Although this situation may be in Kenya, there is no data to quantify it and thus the need for research in this area. The main objective of this study was to investigate the perceived body image of Moi University undergraduate
female students and its influence on their nutrient intake and nutritional health.
Methods: Cross sectional Survey was done on 260 female students of Moi University aged 20-25. Stratified followed by systematic sampling was used to get the sample. Questionnaires were used to collect data.  Measurements of weight, height and mid-upper arm circumference were taken by the researcher using standardized procedures and equipments. SPSS was used for data analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data. Chi square tests, t- tests and logistic regression were
further done.
Results: It was found that most of the respondents with positive (69%) and negative (75%) body image were not comfortable with overweight. The mean BMI was 21.73 ± 3.03 kg/m2 and MUAC was 26.55±3.15cm. Prevalence of underweight and overweight based on BMI was 46% and 9% respectively. Mean intakes of energy, protein, vitamin A and iron were, 1245.92kcals/day, 36.99g/day, 368.29 RE/day and 12.6g/day respectively.
Factors associated with adequacy of nutrient intake were knowledge on food choice and irregular meal patterns.
Conclusion: There is need for nutritional counseling and education among university students to address the issue of body image vis a viz food  intake since most students skipped meals and this together with  knowledge on food choice were found to significantly predict nutrient intake and body image perceptions.

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eISSN: 0856-8960