Prevalence of fruit and vegetable intake in relation to weight status among undergraduate public university students in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Keywords:Fruit and vegetable intake, Kenya, Weight status, Undergraduate public university students
Background: Students in tertiary institutions such as public universities can make poor dietary choices, leaving them exposed to various kinds of malnutrition. The students could underestimate the dietary significance of fruits and vegetables despite their proven importance. This research aimed at establishing the prevalence of fruit and vegetable intake in relation to weight status among public university students in Nairobi County, Kenya.
Methods: A sample of 385 students was used where a self-administered questionnaire was used to gather data. Besides, a stadiometer and weighing scale were used to ascertain the height and weight of the students. Descriptive and inferential statistical approaches were used to analyse data using SPSS.
Results: The study determined that daily intake of fruits and vegetables by university students was low. Regarding weight status, findings showed 5.2% were underweight, most of the participants (54.9%) were within the normal weight range, 25.3% being overweight, while 14.6% were obese. Correlation results showed that there was a negative and significant linear relationship between intake of fruits and vegetable and BMI.
Conclusions: The study concluded that fruits and vegetables are vital for an ideal weight status. The study recommends to students to ensure that they set aside an amount of the daily consumption expenditure to spend on fruits, as these are critical for the health today and in the future. Besides, students are advised to frequently monitor their BMI and take corrective actions before the situation deteriorates.
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