Eating attitude, lifestyle practices and dietary intakes of female undergraduates in a university in southwestern Nigeria
Objective: To determine the eating attitude, lifestyle practices and dietary intakes of female undergraduate students of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Methods: The descriptive cross-sectional study used a pretested self-administered questionnaire to obtain information from 376 randomly selected female undergraduates of the University of Ibadan. Eating attitude was evaluated using the EAT-26 questionnaire, lifestyle practice was assessed using the adapted health promoting lifestyle questionnaire (HPLP II) while 24-hour dietary recall and pretested food frequency questionnaire was used to assess the dietary intakes and pattern of the participants. Data were analysed using SPSS. Mean, frequencies and percentages were used to summarize the data while the relationship between variables were evaluated using Chi square at p <0.05.
Results: Mean age was 20.1(±2.4)years, weight was 57.7(±9.2)kg and Body Mass Index(BMI) was 22.1(±3.4)kg/m2. Prevalence of abnormal eating attitude among the participants is 7.4% and 56.9% had poor lifestyle practices. Intakes of energy and protein were below recommended in 83.5% and 73.2% of the participants respectively. Also, 90.6%, 92.9%, 97.6%, 84.3% and 74.0% had inadequate intake of vitamin C, folate, calcium, zinc and iron respectively and all the food groups were infrequently consumed by the majority. Participants with normal eating attitude are significantly higher than those with abnormal eating attitude (p<0.05) while those who had poor lifestyle practices are significantly higher than those with good lifestyle practices (p<0.05). There is no significant relationship between eating attitude and BMI (p>0.05) however, significant relationship exist between eating attitude and lifestyle practices (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Prevalence of abnormal eating attitude and poor lifestyle practices among the participants is notable and intakes of both macro and micronutrients were below recommendations. There is need for intensive nutrition education to emphasize the importance of adequate dietary intakes and healthy lifestyle practices to promote primary prevention of non-chronic diseases among the University students.
Keywords: Eating attitude, Lifestyle practice, Female undergraduates, Dietary intakes, Nigeria