An evaluation of the nutritional knowledge of Cypriot university students
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AbstractThis cross-sectional survey investigated the nutritional knowledge of Cypriot university students. It was primarily hypothesised that Cypriot university students have a poor nutritional knowledge. Participants were recruited from the University of Cyprus using a convenience sampling method. An already validated nutrition knowledge questionnaire by Parmenter and Wardle (1999) was used in the study. The original questionnaire was modified to make it more applicable to the Cypriot population and was translated in to Greek. The questionnaire included four sections for investigating the knowledge of participants regarding I) diet recommendations, II) food groups, III) choosing everyday foods, and IV) diet and disease relationships. The data obtained was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Software, version 16.0. Any values of p below 0.05 were considered as being statistically significant. 138 undergraduate university students completed the questionnaire (91 females and 47 males). The mean nutritional knowledge score for all participants was 58 ±12.7 which indicated good nutritional knowledge (maximum score = 110). The original hypothesis was therefore rejected. There was a significant difference in nutritional knowledge between those on special diets and those not on special diets (mean 70± 9.6 and 57±12.3 respectively). Cypriot university students seemed to be aware of the food groups and expert advice but were less familiar with diet- disease relationships. Only 10.1% were aware of the health problems related with a low intake of fruit and vegetables. A total of 87 participants (63%) incorrectly reported that sugar in the diet causes diabetes. The present study has revealed that although Cypriot university students have a good nutritional knowledge, there are major gaps in their knowledge concerning diet and disease relationships. This study is insufficient on its own to make conclusions about the nutritional knowledge of the wider Cypriot population. There is therefore an urgent need for future studies focusing on the nutritional knowledge and nutrition education of the Cypriot population.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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