DIETARY DIVERSITY AMONG FEMALE STUDENTS IN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES OF AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA
The study assessed the dietary diversity among female students in public universities of Akwa Ibom State,
Nigeria. Specifically, the study determined the frequency of consumption of food groups within the recall period,
the prevalence, margin and intensity of dietary diversity of the respondents. A two-stage sampling procedure was
used to select 182 respondents. Data were collected with the aid of a well-structured questionnaire and analyzed
descriptively. Majority of the respondents were single (61%), and (64%) received a monthly allowance of
₦15000. Many consumed starchy staple foods, beans and peas, vitamin A-rich vegetables and other vegetables
and fruits. About 55% of the respondents were dietary diverse, based on the average as critical index.
Disaggregated mean prevalence pair for dietary diverse and non-dietary diverse female students, is 0.85 and 0.51.
Mean margin, expressed as a function only for those who are not dietary diverse, with the mean and 2/3 of the
mean as critical index respectively are 0.19 and 0.26 respectively. The study concluded that there is a margin
between dietary diverse and dietary non-diverse students, and recommends that the gap between these two
categories be bridged by programmes geared at encouraging more dietary diversity. This can be done with policy
advocacy on production, purchasing and consumption decisions with special emphasis on dietary needs.