A comparison of dietary intake among international and national students in Makerere university
Baak, Kuol Deng
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The purpose of the study was to assess the differences in dietary intake between international students in Makerere University with their counter parts in home country (Uganda). The study objectives were; to identify types of food that students usually access and eat with in and around Makerere University, to compare the types of foods consumed by international students and against those of their counterparts in home country in Makerere University, to evaluate what factors lead to this type of dietary intake, to establish the students‟ knowledge about the nutritional consequences of their dietary choices. The study used a cross sectional research design based on both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The sample size was 384 (192 international and 192 national students) of Makerere university. Furthermore all the 384 respondents were interviewed and gave the information needed for this study hence giving a response rate of 100%. Findings of this study indicated that majority of the international students who participated in this study 22% were from South Sudan, followed by Kenya with 15%, Tanzania and Rwanda with 11% each, while the rest of the percentage accounts for other different countries in Africa and across. Results of the study also reported that more of the international students that participated in this study 53.3% were females and 43.3 for males but situation was different with nationals where males registered a bigger percentage of the participants about (56.7%) and (46.7%) for females. Results from the study also reported that most of the nationals (75.52%) like to eat local foods whereas (49.48%) of the international students liked to eat fast foods as compared to other types of foods around and within Makerere University. As the results of type of food eaten in Makerere University, most of the national students (55.5%) have gained weight whereas (36%) had gained weight for international student had lost weight (42%) due to the type of food eaten. And these findings of weight loss and gains were based on asking respondents if they have gain or lost weight since they joined campus and respondents gave their answers, it was also revealed that all the international students preferred eating food types from their own countries which are not available in Uganda therefore this led to their weight loss due to less or no enough dietary intake. The study recommends that; there should be program at Makerere University for international students (new ones) inform of orientation particular to that group where they are informed about safer and cheaper places of meals as most respondents they weren‟t aware about places where to access meals.