ASSESSMENT OF THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF STUDENTS IN COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY KADUNA POLYTECHNIC, KADUNA STATE

ASSESSMENT OF THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF STUDENTS IN COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY KADUNA POLYTECHNIC, KADUNA STATE

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ABSTRACT

Nutritional status is a measure of the extent to which an individual’s physiological need for nutrient is met. Poor nutritional practices heighten the level of stress which is a common attribute of school life. The goal of this study was to assess the nutritional status of students in college of science and technology, Kaduna polytechnic, Kaduna state.96 students was selected from 12 departments in the college. Structured questionnaire was used to elicit information on the personal data as well as food consumption pattern. The result showedthatmajority (80%, 80%, 76.7%, 76.7% and 80%) of the students consume cereal product, meat,  fats and oil and fruits everyday while76.7%of the students consume legumeproduct  twice a week and milk product once a week. Results on factors affecting food consumption pattern of students indicates that 57% of the students eat twice per day,23% thrice and 20% more than three times. The nutrient intake of the students was studied to assess the adequacy of their dietary nutrient intakes. The mean nutrient intake of male and female students was 1490.66±567.26 and 1959.71±671.22 which is 51% and 89% recommended daily allowance (RDA). Intakes of protein, magnesium, vitamin A for both male and female were respectively, 70%, 60%, 320% and 132%, 40%, 2134%of RDA while the intakes of fat and calciumfor both students were lower (64%, 77% and 88%, 89%) than RDA. Using World Health Organization body mass index classifications, 47% of the male students had normal BMI, 11.8% were overweight, 17.8% were underweight and none was obese. For the female students, 41.2% were of normal weight, 35.3% were overweight, 5.9% were underweight and 17.6 were obese.The study concluded that most of the students skipped breakfast, an indication of insufficient pocket money, busy schedules, and weight control measures. The study recommends that parent should improve or increase feeding allowance of their ward and students should be educated on healthy eating behavior to prevent risk of obesity and relative metabolic consequences in future.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0           INTRODUCTION

    1.1     BACKGROUND OF STUDY

  Nutritional status is a measure of the extent to which an individual’s physiological need for nutrient is met (Barker, 2002) Also, Singh-Manouxet al (2005) defined nutritional status as the relationship of weight and height in determining one’s health. Poor nutritional practices heighten the level of stress which is a common attribute of school life. This attribute is strongly linked with decreased health. (Dirskell, 2006)

Specifically, polytechnic population is divided into two categories; those who continue to live with their parents and those that go to school far from their usual residence that are forced to live away from home. For both categories, the beginning of college matches with more freedom and independence.

According to Pierce E.F et al (1992), the beginning of   polytechnic matches with more freedom and independence and the years spent in the polytechnic represent a critical period that is able to influence the quality, lifestyle and eating habit of subsequent adulthood. In addition to the stress of school life, the diet of an average tertiary institution student is inadequate, meals are often skipped by the student in management of weight and average poor eating behavior is due to price of unhealthy food: easy access to fast food consumption on campus (Dirskell, 2006)

Student tend to practice poor eating habit for instance skipping meals, low frequency of vegetables, fruits and fish consumption, preferring fatty food and poor physical activity(Abolfotouhet al.,2007)Balanced and adequate nutrition is important to maintain good health and quality of life (Memis and Sanlier, 2010)

Polytechnic students may be faced with difficulty in regulating eating behavior since it is a transition of where they stay away from home and student living away from family home tend to develop poor eating habit compared to student who live at the family home. (Angelikiet al, 2007)

It has been observed that most of the students lack adequate funds, divert their feeding money to frivolities and so skip meals. jargons such as 1-0-1, 0-1-0, 1-0-0, 0-0-1 are common in Nigeria polytechnic system.1-0-1 means taking breakfast, dinner and skippinglunch.0-1-0 means skipping breakfast and dinner and eating only lunch, 1-0-0 means eating only breakfast and 0-0-1means taking only dinner. Also, some of them avoid certain foods because of personal dislike, social and cultural pressure, peer group influence, religion. These unhealthy habits can lead to undernourishment and over nourishment with resultant increase in susceptibility of avoidable diseases

Marmot and Burmer (2009) purposed that some students skip meals in order to achieve and maintain their desired body size.in these circumstances, these routine can have an impact on nutritional status since one cannot tell whether students are well nourished and healthy or not from mere looking at them. Recent trends in the result of major examination in the country have indicated that there is a decline in the academic performance of students at all level (Ighodalo, 2004)

This decline has attributed to some major factors like poor academic background, unhealthy eating habit of students which are linked to the worsening socio economic condition of the country. Taking in consideration this background, special attention should be paid to polytechnic student as a group particularly prone to poor dietary habit. Therefore, this study was carried out to obtain preliminary understanding and also to obtain data on the nutritional status, nutrient intake and food consumption pattern among polytechnic students in college of science and technology, Kaduna polytechnic so that future intervention can be planned to improve the nutritional status and give nutritional education to the students.

    1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The beginning of polytechnic, matches with more freedom and independence and the years spent at the polytechnic represent a critical period that is able to influence the quality, lifestyle, and eating habit of the subsequent adulthood. (Pierce E.F et al)

Students need adequate nutrient intake for academic performance and other activities on campus however, because of current socio economic problems in Nigeria, personal dislikes, social and cultural pressure, peer group influences, religion and skipping of meals, proper eating habit is disrupted in students resulting to undernourishment and over nourishment with resultant increase in the susceptibility of avoidable disease, diminishing quality of life, personal productivity and longevity.         

1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES                      

The major aim of this study is to assess the nutritional status of students in College of Science and Technology, Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna state.

The study would however, have the following specific objectives:

1                   To determine the food consumption pattern of students in the college.

2                   To determine factors affecting food consumption pattern of the students

3                   To determine their  nutrient intake  using 24hours recall

4                   To determine the Body Mass Index of the students.

1.4 JUSTIFICATION

Studies have shown that disrupted eating behavior exist among polytechnic students and this jeopardizes their nutritional status (NCBI, 2011)

Taking in consideration this background of study, special attention should be paid to polytechnic students as a group particularly prone to poor dietary habit.

This study is carried out to gather information on the nutritional status, food consumption pattern, nutrient intake as well as factors affecting food consumption pattern and nutritional status of students in college of science and technology, Kaduna polytechnic. So that future intervention can be planned to improve the nutritional status of students in polytechnic students.


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