Healthy eating knowledge among college students in Muscat: A self reported survey

Annamalai Manickavasagan, Adel Abdullah Al-Mahdouri, Ahmed Muslem Salam Al-Mufargi, Ahmed Al-Souti, Abdullah Said Masoud Al-Mezeini, Musthafa Mohamed Essa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study was conducted to investigate the knowledge in healthy diet among the students of ten colleges in Muscat, Oman using questionnaire with 23 questions in terms of diet and health. Students from 10 colleges (1191 undergraduate students: 524 males and 667 females) participated in this study. About 94% of participated college students believed that there is a relationship between diet and health. Based on this self-reported survey, 70% of the students had little or no knowledge about high and low calorie foods. The health benefits of whole grain products were known to 70% of the students. About 51% of the students had good knowledge in protein rich foods and 54% of students had understood the importance of the consumption of fruits and vegetables. However, only 43 and 39% of students were aware of the unhealthy effects of higher consumption of salt and sugar, respectively. Based on our study, it shows that the knowledge about good and bad fats among these ten college students in Muscat is less. Only 15, 25, 27 and 18%, of the students had good knowledge in limit for daily intake of total fat, unhealthy effects of trans-fat, unhealthy effects of saturated fat and healthy effects of unsaturated fat, respectively. However, more than 90% of the students participated in this study were interested to learn about healthy diet and change their eating behavior. In general, whole grain benefits were known to the highest number of students and healthy effects of unsaturated fat and unhealthy effects of saturated fat were known to the least number of students. As this survey was conducted only in selected colleges and the outcome is based on the self-reported level of healthy diet knowledge, it may not be a strict indicator on the actual level of knowledge; however, it may be used as a broader guideline. Further intensive studies in this area are needed across the country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
JournalPakistan Journal of Nutrition
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Dietary habit
  • Healthy diet
  • Muscat
  • Saturated fat
  • Whole grains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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