Tanzania Journal of Health Research

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The nutritional intake of undergraduates at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences

RG Cooper, J Chifamba


In developing countries the cost of treating disease is much more than prevention and so there is now a lot of interest in understanding nutrition. In this pilot study we selected a cohort of pre-clinical students studying at the College of Health Sciences in the University of Zimbabwe. This study was carried to investigate the gender-based weekly consumption of different food categories amongst University of Zimbabwe students. Semi-structured questionnaires distributed to 100 undergraduate students (male= 47; female= 52). The proportion of male and female respondents, age and body weight did not differ significantly. Principal foods consumed by males included sadza and cerevita; naartjies, bananas and avocado pears; tomatoes, onions, covo and spinach; beef; and condensed milk and powdered milk occupied the larger proportions. Females frequently ate a lot of bread, cerevita, sadza and cereal; lemons and avocado pears; onions, tomatoes, rape and covo; beef and soya meat; creamer, powdered milk and milk. This study suggests that females consumed a greater variety of food, including the infrequent types by comparison with men.
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