Amanat Ali1*, Farhat Al-Naabi2, Hajer Said M. Al-Hakamani2, Hala Masoud S. Al-Fahdi2, Mostafa I. Waly2
1School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Albert A. Thornbrough Building, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1.
2Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O Box 34, PC 123, Al-Khoud, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Background: Nutritional knowledge is considered as an important factor in making healthy food choices, and to ensure an adequate nutrient intake in all age groups. Objective: To assess the nutritional knowledge, dietary habits, nutrient intake and nutritional status of Sultan Qaboos University students. Subjects and Methods: In a cross-sectional study design, one hundred and twenty students (38 males and 82 females) with a mean age of 22 and 21 years for males and females respectively, participated in the study. The study questionnaire consisted of questions related to demographic information, nutritional knowledge, level of physical activity and a food frequency questionnaire to measure the frequency and variety of food consumption and to quantify the daily energy and nutrient intake. All participants were interviewed in person to complete the study questionnaire. Results: Significant differences (P < 0.05) were observed in the main sources of nutrition information used by the male and female students. The male students had most of their nutrition information from friends and social media (63%), whereas the females relied mainly on family members (69%). Only about 20 % of both males and females had sufficient knowledge about their daily energy needs, whereas less than 6 % knew about macronutrient requirements. More females were always taking daily breakfast, regular daily 3 meals and had higher intake of vegetables as compared to males. However, no significant (P < 0.05) differences were observed in the overall diet score of males and females (74% and 73%, respectively). Although the average daily energy intake in males and females differed (2315 kcalories and 1703 kcalories, respectively), the proportionate contribution of energy from macronutrients was similar and was within the acceptable macronutrient distribution range.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that appropriate nutrition education programs be developed and implemented to improve the nutrition knowledge, dietary habits and overall health status of university students.
Keywords: Dietary habits, Nutritional knowledge, Nutritional status, Omani university students.
Citation: Amanat Ali, Farhat Al-Naabi, Hajer Said M. Al-Hakamani, Hala Masoud S. Al-Fahdi, Mostafa I. Waly. Assessment of Nutritional Knowledge, Dietary Habits, Nutrient Intake and Nutritional Status of Omani University Students. Canadian Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2020; 8 (2): 35-52.