Influence of fruits and vegetables consumption on selected antropometric indices of undergraduate students of Makerere university.
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Fruit and vegetable consumption is an essential component of a healthy diet at every stage of life and one of the most modifiable risk factors for a better nutrition status especially BMI and WHR. University undergraduate students experience significant lifestyle changes as a result newly acquired of independence, often establishing life-long dietary habits affecting their current and future health. The study assessed the influence of fruits and vegetables consumption on the nutritional status of university students. A cross sectional study was carried out using food frequency screening tools such as 24hour dietary recall and food frequency questionnaires among others.Anthropometric measurements were also taken. Results indicated that the average age of students was 20.5years with 58.6% being males. Only 21.0% were aware of recommended amount for fruit and vegetable consumption and only 55.4% understood what a serving was. Overall, 3.6% of students met the WHO recommendations of 5 servings of F&V per day in a week and of these, 59.5% were female. The mean serving of fruits and vegetables consumed was 3.5±0.05. Generally, more servings of fruits1.8 ±0.05were consumed than vegetables 1.7 ±0.04 More than half respondents (51.2%) had positive attitude and knowledgeable about the importance of fruits and vegetables. Most students (28%) consumed fresh cooked vegetables and fresh ripe fruits. F&V consumption was mainly influenced by appetite for 20%of the students among other reason such as peer influence(13.1%).The mean BMI was 25.56kg/m squared while the mean waist –hip ratio was 0.89.Most respondents (48%) were overweight , there was also a statistically significant negative correlation between fruits and vegetable consumption with BMI (P=0.021,r= -0.756) and WHR (P=0.041,r= -0.782).This shows that participants who consumed more fruits and vegetable had lower BMI and WHR , therefore F& V consumption improves the nutritional status.