Poor nutritional habits and obesity are
major public health problems among young adult during university life (18 to 25
years of age) who experienced independence and unhealthy
lifestyle characteristics due to lack of time and stress which is associated with
poor diets and inactivity
results from bad dietary and other environmental factors with genetic
predisposition, and it has a fundamental role in the development of coronary
heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus . One of the main WHO priorities is
nutrition and healthy diet
Eating habits are a complex process
influenced by many factors, with increasing age, the societal influence increases
while the influence of parent and family
is increased in the childhood and, to a lesser extent, adolescent .
Eating habits have dramatically changed during the last few decades, the change
was in the composition of the diet towards high-calorie
density diets, initially these problems appeared
in a few developed countries but now they
are spreading to many developing countries (Malik et al., 2013).
Medical students require adaptation and lifestyle changes to meet the demands of
their studies and clinical rotations in the hospital wards, they do not have enough
time to exercise and eat healthier meals, also the stress of university life and medical study load would be factors that
negatively influence their diet .
students are considered to have a greater knowledge about healthy lifestyle and
dietary habits more than nonmedical ones, this knowledge may not be translated into practices of maintaining
good health . Medical students are the future
physicians and healthy dietary habits among them are very important and if they
personally ignore adopting healthy lifestyle, they will be more likely to fail
to establish health promotion for their patients . This
study aimed to assess the dietary habits of
medical students at Faculty of Medicine Tanta University.
Subjects and methods:
This study was
conducted in Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, which is a governmental faculty
that was established in 1963. It recruits students from Lower Egypt
governorates in the Nile Delta. The study plan is 3 pre-clinical years to study
basic sciences and 3 years for clinical study and training, followed by one
year internship training as house officer.
Study design: a cross-sectional study
The target population of
this study was medical students from all 6 years. The total number of 1st
to 6th grades medical students
was about (4526) students in the academic year
(2014/2015) according to students’ affairs department at Faculty of
Medicine -Tanta University.
sampling technique was used. The sample size was calculated using a practical
approach to calculate sample size for herd prevalence surveys with the desired
precision and confidence (Dawson B. and Trapp R. G, 2000). Routinely, students in each grade are divided into four subgroups
for practical training. Two groups from each grade were chosen randomly to be
included in the study. The calculated required total number of students in the
chosen clusters was 1521 and we increased the number by more than 30% for
better accuracy and to compensate the expected exclusions to 2000 student, at the end of the study the total number of
the students who fully completed the study were 1955 student,as the number changed in different groups due
to vacations of some groups or rests for exams, and refusal of some students to
participate in the study.
According to Epi Info™ 126.96.36.199 program, sample size was determined as follows:
Grades of medical students
Number of medical students
Sample after allocation
Tools of the study :
specially designed validated self-administered questionnaire sheet was used for
data collection, it included the following items:
Personal history and socio-demographic data:
These data included:
sex, academic grade,
residence, parents’ education. Anthropometric
measurements including; weight, height and accordingly the
BMI were calculated and participants were
categorized according to WHO body mass index classification.
data in form of 15 questions.
Tabulation, presentation, and analysis of data
were performed by using Statistical Package of Social Science (SPSS-V22) developed by IBM, Illinois, Chicago, USA. The numbers and
percentages were calculated for each subcategory
of the studied variable. The differences between subcategories were
tested using chi-square test. correlation was estimated between total dietary
habits score, academic
grade, and students` BMI. The level of
statistical significance was adopted at a p-value
less than 0.05.
The participants were informed about the
aim of the study to get their approval and
complete confidentiality was assured to personal information of all the
students participated in the study.