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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión On-line ISSN 1699-5198versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611


SANCHEZ SOCARRAS, Violeida  y  AGUILAR MARTINEZ, Alicia. Food habits and health-related behaviors in a university population. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.1, pp.449-457. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: The university population is considered a particularly vulnerable group from the nutritional point of view as it begins to take responsibility for their food and going through a critical period in the consolidation of habits and food-related behaviors. Previous studies highlight the loss of healthy dietary patterns and the need to develop educational and nutritional interventions. Objectives: To analyze habits and food-related behaviors in a university population in Catalonia as a starting point to develop effective strategies for health promotion. Methods: Cross-sectional observational study of dietary habits and food-related behaviors (alcohol, tobacco and physical activity) in Catalan university students. Results: Lunch and dinner at home were the essential meals of the surveyed students while breakfast and afternoon snack were omitted about 20% of cases. The obtained dietary pattern was characterized by an excessive consumption of red meat (84%) and poor or very poor consumption of vegetables (39.8%), cereals (92.6%) and fruit (73.9%). The consumption of alcohol was low, and the most consumed beverage was beer. The majority of students reported not being regular smokers. Among regular smokers predominated women. Alcohol consumption was also low and beer was the most consumed beverage. A considerable number of students were used to performing moderate or intense physical activity three or more times a week, although a similar proportion not perform any physical activity regularly. Discussion and Conclusions: In the studied population, food habits that deviate from the recommendations of the Mediterranean Diet are detected in a large number of students: low consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased consumption of dairy products and a predominance in the consumption of red meat in front of poultry. These changes are in line with those that occurred in recent years in Spain and in other industrialized countries.

Palabras clave : Food Habits; Students; Nutritional Education; Mediterranean Diet.

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