Energy and nutrient intake and food patterns among Turkish university students

Neslisah R., Emine A. Y.

NUTRITION RESEARCH AND PRACTICE, vol.5, no.2, pp.117-123, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.4162/nrp.2011.5.2.117
  • Page Numbers: pp.117-123


The goal of this study was to determine the nutritional value and nutrients provided by each meal and snack of consumed by university students. Subjects were randomly selected from volunteer students at five universities in Ankara. A sample of 400 students (167 female and 233 male) aged between 19 and 24 years participated in this study. A questionnaire designed to assess general characteristics, anthropometric measurements, and 24 hours dietary records was administered using face to face interviews. According to body mass index classifications, 69.5% of male students, and 77.7% of female students were found to be in the normal weight categories. Overweight categories were found to be 25.1% and 5.6% for males and females, respectively. Breakfast and lunch were the most frequently skipped meals, with a total of 47.7% of students skipping breakfast and 25.2% skipping lunch. The percentages of energy deficiency were found to be 78.4% in males, and 81.1% in females. Dinner was the main meal for consumption of energy and the other nutrients, except saturated fatty acids, for both genders. Also, dinner was the largest contributor of energy in both genders. Students ate more bread, cereals, and meat at dinner than during the other meals and snacks. Fruit was consumed more during snacks than at the other meals by all students. It was concluded that students need more nutritional information about healthy nutritional habits, adequate intake of nutrients, and ideal body weights.