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Research Article

An Assessment of the Nutritional Status of University of Zimbabwe Students

N.G.T. Mushonga, D. Chagwena, C. Benhura and L.K. Nyanga
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Information on nutritional status among tertiary students in most developing countries is limited. The aim of this study was to conduct a nutritional assessment and eating habits of University of Zimbabwe students, using anthropometric measurements and a food frequency questionnaire. This was a study to generate baseline information for evaluating nutritional status of tertiary students in a resource limited setting. Anthropometric data including weight, height, waist and hip circumference was collected randomly among students from three sites at the University of Zimbabwe campus. Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Hip Ratio (WHR) were calculated from anthropometry data collected. Students’ eating habits were gathered using a standardized frequency questionnaire. Approximately over 58% of the students who participated in the study had acceptable nutritional status with their BMI falling within the range of 18.5-24.9 and waist-to-hip ratio indicators of <0.80 for females and <0.95 for males. However, 18% of the students assessed were found to be overweight and obese which is indicative of high risk of developing non-communicable diseases later in life. Consumption of milk, vegetables and fruits was generally low. There is need for nutrition education among university students on consumption of diversified meals.

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  How to cite this article:

N.G.T. Mushonga, D. Chagwena, C. Benhura and L.K. Nyanga, 2013. An Assessment of the Nutritional Status of University of Zimbabwe Students. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 12: 30-33.

DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2013.30.33


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