Nutritional status of university students in south-eastern states of Nigeria
To assess the nutritional status of university students in South-Eastern States of Nigeria, a total of 1600 students were randomly selected from four universities in the stratified groups. Nutritional values of subjects‟ foods were assessed on the basis of 24-hour dietary recall, anthropometry and weighed food intake. Nutrient content of foods for protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A and C, zinc and energy eaten by students was determined using food composition table and chemical analysis of food. Intake was compared across location using ANOVA at 0.05 level of significance. On dietary recall, university students across the locations ate mainly two sets of meals per day. Breakfast meals were mainly missed, particularly when the students‟ financial positions were low. Anthropometry assessments revealed that majority of the students were within the normal BMI range of 18.5-24.9 kg/m2. Types and weights of foods consumed by university students across the locations were closely related. The few variations observed were in the methods of food preparation and serving. ANOVA result of multiple comparison of energy and nutrient intake scores, show that there was no significant difference in the mean of the paired Universities in energy, protein, calcium, zinc, iron, riboflavin, vitamin C and thiamine intake between students in the University of Port Harcourt and Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
Key words: Anthropometry; university; nutritional status; nutrient intake