Evaluation of the stress and eating behaviors of medical students after university entrance exam

Creative Commons License

KARA Ş. A., Demir M. T., ŞENGELEN M.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, vol.31, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Abstract
  • Volume: 31
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/eurpub/ckab165.286
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ABI/INFORM, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Pollution Abstracts, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Emotions are important on eating behaviours but the direction of the effect is unknown. The aim of this study is to evaluate eating behaviours and some related factors of first grade medical students after the university entrance exam. This study was performed in a medical faculty from Ankara, Turkey in October 2019. Researchers used a questionnaire comprising of 56 questions; 23 questions about students' sociodemographical characteristics and 33-item Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ). DEBQ is a self-report questionnaire and Turkish validity and reliability was tested in 2011. Written permission from Faculty Executive Committee was obtained prior to the study and informed consent were obtained from the participants. The significance level was taken as p < 0.05. SPSS 25.0 package program was used in data analysis. Three hundred and ninety one students (80.6%) out of a total of 485 participated in the study. Of all 391 students participating in this study, the mean age was 18.53±0.71 and 52.4% were men (n = 205). Forty point two percent of the students claimed that their eating habits were healthless, while 33.8% of the students stated that they ate more when they were stressed and 50.9% of the students stated that their body weight was increased during their university entrance exam period. Mean DEBQ total points were higher in women and in students who stated that their body weight was increased during their university entrance exam period than the others (student t test, p < 0,001; ANOVA test, p < 0,001, respectively). Multiple Linear regression analysis pointed out that being women increased DEBQ total point by 9,091 point (p < 0,001, 95% CI: 5,595-12,587). This study demonstrated that nutrition and eating habits are critical issues for young people's life and their future. Therefore many students need more help and guidance about stress management and healthy eating habits especially when they are preparing for important exams and also right after the exams.