To assess the effect of nutrition education on the eating habits that may predispose undergraduates to cancer, a quasi-experimental study was carried out in a representative sample of undergraduates aged 16 to 25 years in two Universities in South-west Nigeria. A sample of 436 participants (males and females) was randomly selected from both universities (1 control group; 1 experimental group). Participants eating habits was assessed before nutrition education intervention by having a focussed group discussion and responding to a 19-item self-developed food frequency scale (pretest). Nutrition education intervention was given to the experimental group for 8 weeks and the control group had a placebo. The effect of nutrition education on eating habits was measured immediately and 8 weeks after intervention using the pretest scale (posttest). Data analysis was employed using SPSS version 15; independent t-test, ANCOVA, using the pretest as the covariate to measure the effect of the intervention. Nutrition education significantly affected the eating habits of the participants (p<0.05). The experimental group performed better by contributing a higher mean score of 61.48 while the control group contributed a mean score of 56.64. The level of study significantly affected the eating habits of the participants with students in lower level of study performing better (p<0.05). Nutrition education positively modulated the eating habits of the participants. More students need to be exposed to nutrition education on eating habits because it appears to be a potent tool in forestalling the harmful effects of poor eating habits especially cancer.
Gloria O. Anetor, Benjamin O. Ogundele and Oyediran E. Oyewole, 2012. Effect of Nutrition Education on the Eating Habits of Undergraduates in South-West, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Epidemiology, 5: 32-41.