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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


MARTINEZ ROLDAN, C. et al. Nutritional status assessment in a group of university students by means of dietary parameters and body composition. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2005, vol.20, n.3, pp.197-203. ISSN 1699-5198.

Objective: To assess the nutritional status in a young adults by means of dietary parameters and body composition. Methodology: The sample comprises 49 young men (35 women and 14 men) with a mean age of 21.9 ± 2.9 ages, at Alfonso X el Sabio University of Madrid. Body composition was analyzed through anthropometrical parameters. By means of validated questionnaires, physical activity performed within a week was assessed, as well as energy and nutrients intake. The later was estimated through a registry of all foods and beverages consumed for the last 14 days performed by each one of the participants (previously instructed) and estimating the amounts by weight or home or standard servings. The resting energy waste was determined by indirect calorimetry and through the Harris-Benedict predictive formula. Results: Body mass index was similar in both men and women (p = 0.10) (23.5 ± 1.9 and 22.0 ± 2.8 kg/m2). The percentage of fat obtained through anthropometrics was 16.4 ± 3.5% and 27.1 ± 3.8% (p < 0.05) in men and women, respectively. The physical activity was light-moderate. Daily energy intake was appropriate for the total needs when the later were determined by indirect calorimetry. The caloric intake for macronutrients was unbalanced: high in lipids, and very low in carbohydrates. With regards to micronutrients, the assessed diets were in general appropriate but for folic acid, calcium, magnesium for both genders and vitamin A in men, with levels below the recommended ones. Conclusions and recommendations. In some aspects, the diet from this group deviates from current dietary standards. It would be advisable to increase the physical activity that would allow a higher food intake in order to cover for the insufficient intake of some nutrients without energetically unbalancing the diet. The assessment of resting energetic waste by indirect calorimetry seems to better predict the energetic needs.

Keywords : Nutritional status; Young people; Anthropometrics; Indirect calorimatry; Energy and nutrients intake.

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