Health behaviour and eating habits among foreign students at the Instituto Politécnico de Bragança Benjámin Ede Kiss 1,2, Katalin Kelemen 1,2, Vera Ferro-Lebres2, Juliana Almeida de Souza2, Antonío José Gonçalves Fernandes3 of Dietetics and Complementary Medicine - Faculty of Health Science - University of Pécs 2Departamento das Tecnologias de Diagnóstico e Terapêutica in área de estudo Dietética e Nutrição - Escola Superior de Saúde– Instituto Politécnico de Bragança 3Departamento Ciências Sociais e Exactas - Escola Superior Agrária - Instituto Politécnico de Bragança 1Department : [email protected], [email protected] 1. Introduction 2. Methods Several studies have addressed to assess the eating habits of university For our cross-sectioned study the data was obtained from an online survey. students, but only few studies are about the eating habits of foreign students. 53 of the 89 students who started their studies in the second semester at the Previous studies found that the eating habits are changing in a negative way academic year of 2013/2014 completed the questionaire. The questionaire because of the limited availability and poor quality of familiar foods 1, 2. contains questions about anthropometric data (weight, height), the health The objective of this study was to determine the eating habits of the students related behaviour (smoking-, sporting habits) eating habits (eating times) and before their arrival to Portugal. This is the first part of a longitudinal study, a food frequency questionnaire3 (FFQ). We calculated the weekly frequency our final aim is to estabilish the changes on the eating habits and health of consumption for each food group according to the study of Vereecken’s behaviour of students from abroad during their scholarship. and his co-workers.4 For the staistical analyses we divided the variables into half. For FFQ’s questions we defined the two groups as major consumers 3. Results (Maj.) and minor consumers (Min.). We used the BMI classification pursuant to WHO’s system.5 27 Number of cases (n) 30 22 We accomplished the statistical analyses with SPSS version 22.0. We used 25 descriptive statistics, Chí-square-test with Fisher's exact test, Pearson’s 20 Males Females 15 10 2 0 2 5 correlation and t-test to analyse the data. 0 Red meat 0 Olive oil Fish and seafood Oil seeds and nuts Sweets Alcoholic beverages 100% Underweight (< 18,5 kg/m2) Normal weight (18,5-25,0 kg/m2) Overweight (25,0-30,0 kg/m2) 90% Graph 1: The distibution of BMI according to WHO’s classification system (n=53, p=0,045, r=0,276) Less frequently sporters 80% 70% Potatoes Energy drinks Cereal Olive oil Sodas 60% More frequently sporters 100% 50% 90% 40% 80% Females 70% Males 60% 30% 20% 10% 50% 0% 40% Maj.Min. Maj.Min. Maj.Min. Maj.Min. Maj.Min. Maj.Min. 30% Graph 3: Significant results of the FFQ according to sporting behaviours (n=53) (Red meat: p=0,005; Olive oil: p=0,047; Fish ans seafood: p=0,013; Oil seeds and nuts: p=0,048; Sweets: p=0,020; Alcoholic beverages: p=0,017) 20% 10% 0% Maj.Min. Maj.Min. Maj.Min. Maj.Min. Maj.Min. 4. Conclusion and Discussion Graph 2: Significant results of the FFQ according to genders (n=53) (Potatoes: p=0,009; Energy drinks: p=0,020; Cereal: p=0,023; Olive oil: p=0,025; Sodas: p=0,001) Our results show that the nutritional status of foreign students at Instituto 24 male and 29 female students took part in our research from 13 different Politécnico de Bragança is considered to be normal. countries, 6 faculties. The mean of their age was 21,87 ± 1,52 years. The mean According to our results those people who did sports more frequently were of the BMI was 21,85 ± 2,09 kg/m2. Pursuant to BMI classification males had eating in a healthier way, but we didn’t observe any outstanding differences significantly higher BMI (Graph 1). 35 participants smoke. The weekly between genders. frequency of vegetable consumption is 4,04 (males: 3,79; females: 4,25). The Compared to the Portuguese students’ consumption values in Vereecken’s weekly frequency of fruit consumption is 5,04 (males: 5,19; females: 4,91). and his co-workers study4 the fruit and vegetable consumption is higher in The mean value of the meals is 3,53 ± 1,07. Males consume potatoes and our sample. energy drinks significantly more often and they consume cereal, olive oil and vegetables 5 times a day6. We observed that foreign students ate significantly sodas significantly less often than females as shows Graph 2. More frequently less often (p<0,05) than this guideline. sporters consume red meat, olive oil, fish and seafood significantly more often and they consume oil seed and nuts, sweets and alcoholic beverages significantly less often than less frequently sporters (Graph 3). 10 students study at the Faculty of Health Science but there are no significant differences between them and the other stundents according to the eating habits and the health behaviour. 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