Dietary habits of Wroclaw Medical University students (Poland)

Rafał Ilow, Bożena Regulska-Ilow, Dorota Różańska
Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny 2017, 68 (1): 23-32

Background: The World Health Organization considers an unhealthy diet to be related to the risk of cardiovascular diseases development.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate dietary habits among Wroclaw Medical University students with a view towards the nutritional risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

Material and Methods: The study was conducted between the years 2004-2012. The study group consisted of 892 women and 276 men. The respondents were asked to complete a questionnaire based on the principles outlined in “The Polish food-based dietary guidelines”.

Results: There were numerous eating habits not in compliance with the recommendations. Men failed to take ≥ 3 meals/ day (10.1% vs 6.3%) at a significantly higher frequency than women. Food products exhibiting a high glycaemic index (GI) were preferred over low GI, especially among men. About 62% of women and 75% of men failed to consume ≥ 5 portions of fruits and vegetables per day. Women chose low-fat dairy products and meat significantly more frequently than men. 73% of women and 67% of men declared that they consumed vegetable oils on an irregular basis. About 8% of women and 11% of men used salt without restrictions, while 58% and 64% respectively, used sugar to sweeten beverages.

Conclusions: Improper nutritional habits were observed in a high part of the studied students, especially among men. It is therefore strongly suggested that the rules of proper nutrition be promoted among this group.

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