Food Consumption Patterns of Female Undergraduate Students in the United Arab Emirates
BACKGROUND: Studies on food intake in the UAE especially in relation to the student life are lacking. OBJECTIVE: To investigate eating habits of undergraduate students. METHODS: A cohort of 146 undergraduate students studying Physiology at Zayed University completed a semi-structured questionnaire. A student response was accepted for analysis only those weeks with adequate responses not more than six. RESULTS: The mean student age was 19.28 (1.22) years with a minimum-maximum 18–23 years. The mean weight was 56.67(13.31) with a minimum-maximum of 40–89 kg. Of 1,250 United Arab Emirates Dirham; 10 indicated they worked but did not specify income; and three were married. More foods were consumed seven times in a week. Amongst the principal foods consumed were: bread, cereal, starch; white bread, cornflakes and rice; fruits – apple, banana and orange; vegetables – cucumber, tomato and lettuce; meat – fish, chicken and beef; and eggs and dairy – (milk, cheese and yoghurt). CONCLUSION: Dubai female undergraduates have a height intake of milk and fruits and less fanciful breads. Further studies should measure the exact quantity/mass of foods consumed per week.
Keywords: Food, nutrition, Students, undergraduate, University, UAE.