The diet of the students of the University of Alicante, unlike the Mediterranean
Alicante, 21st February 2013
Students of the University of Alicante do not eat healthily or follow a Mediterranean diet, on the contrary, it is almost the other way round: it is based on stuffed cold meats, red meat and sweets, while they consume vegetables only a few times a month and only some fruit during the week.
This is what a study on Mediterranean diet patterns followed by the Spanish university students says. It has been carried out by a team from the UA Department of Community Nursing and Preventive Medicine, whose leading author is Maria del Rocio Moncada Ortiz, lecturer at this department, and also with the participation of an expert from the University Miguel Hernández. The work has been published in the journal Nutrición Hospitalaria.
It reflects that no student at the UA covers the consumption of all food groups in amount and frequency as stated by the structure of the Mediterranean diet. The prevalence of underweight among females is higher than that of men, who are more overweight or obese. "There is a need to strengthen the intervention aimed at this population", they say.
The study was done through questionnaires of food consumption frequency among 380 university students (244 female and 136 male). The team who has been performed the poll has observed on the one hand a very low consumption of cereals and derivatives and on the other, excessive regarding red in more than 90% of that population. By analyzing the compliance to the Mediterranean dietary pattern, no student covers an "optimal intake" or an "acceptable use" of all food groups as a whole. And the authors of the study added that there are statistically significant differences between women and men in the rates of consumption of the different food groups.
"Although the university population is an apparently advantaged group in terms of education and access to information, there are social and environmental factors that make them vulnerable in their eating habits. Strategies for public health aimed at this population should be strengthened in order to favour their compliance to a healthy diet", the authors conclude.
The study on food consumption has been part of the food and nutritional epidemiological profile of the University of Alicante, which has been taken into account in the design in their Food and Nutrition Advice Centre (ALINUA).
Universidad de Alicante Carretera de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig Alicante (Spain)