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Prevalence and factors associated with nutritional status among female university students in Florianópolis, SC

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1980-0037.2013v15n3p326

Keywords: Feeding behavior , Nutritional status , Students , Estudantes , Estado nutricional , Comportamento alimentar

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Abstract:

University admission provides the adoption of new behaviors, which can affect the health of students. The objective of this study was to identify the characteristics and factors associated with the nutritional status of female university students in Florianopolis, SC, and to assess their prevalence. Socioeconomic and behavioral variables were obtained by a structured questionnaire. Nutritional status was assessed based on body mass index, waist circumference and body fat percentage. Food consumption data were obtained through the application of a 24-hour food recall. The chi-square test was used to select independent variables associated with body mass index. Response rate in this study was 86.6% (total of 220 students). Most students were teenagers (57.7%), lived with parents (69.5%), were sedentary (55.9%), and eutrophic (72.3%). The prevalence was 15.9% for underweight and 11.8% for overweight. Breakfast was the main meal most frequently omitted (16.9%), and most students (79.0%) had an energy intake below2,200 kcal. Energy intake was the only variable inversely associated with nutritional status (p =0.0358). There is a need to implement educational health measures in universities in order to establish healthier lifestyle and eating habits.

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