Analysis of factors determining the nutritional status of undergraduate students in Makerere University
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors determining the nutrition status of undergraduate students at school of statistics and planning. The assessment was based on students’ upkeep, parents’ income, students’ employment status, sponsor and the cost of meals using primary data sourced from students from school of statistics and planning using a sample of 96 students. Data was collected from respondents using a self-administered questionnaire and through entering filled questionnaires into Stata a computer program, data was analyzed analysis was made at three different levels that is univariate, bivariate and multivariate. In the results, majority of the surveyed students were unemployed (93%) and only 7% of the surveyed students were employed. Slightly more than six on every ten (61%) of the surveyed students were privately sponsored while 39% were Government students. The average upkeep of students was 636218.8 which is relatively low. At bivariate level, the results show that there is a significant relationship between the number of meals and the students’ upkeep (P<0.05), while parents’ income, whether a student is employed or not, students’ sponsor, and cost of meals are not significantly related the number of meals a student gets a day. In the multivariate analysis, student’s number of meals is significantly associated with his or her amount of upkeep, while parents’ income, sponsor, student’s employment status and cost of meals are insignificantly associated with the number of meals (p>0.05). In conclusion, only one hypothesis was rejected implying that there is appositive relationship between the number of meals and students’ upkeep thus upkeep significantly influences the number of meals a student gets per day. However, the four hypotheses were not rejected which meant no relationship between number of meals and the four explanatory factors (parents income, cost of meals, sponsor and employment status). The study recommends that parents should increase students’ upkeep and also future researchers should look at the nature and impact of meals on the student’s performance.