• Eating Behaviours of British University Students: A Cluster Analysis on a Neglected Issue

      Tanton, Jina; Dodd, Lorna; Woodfield, Lorayne; Mabhala, Mzwandile A.; Newman University; University of Chester (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2015-10-13)
      Unhealthy diet is a primary risk factor for noncommunicable diseases. University student populations are known to engage in health risking lifestyle behaviours including risky eating behaviours. The purpose of this study was to examine eating behaviour patterns in a population of British university students using a two-step cluster analysis. Consumption prevalence of snack, convenience, and fast foods in addition to fruit and vegetables was measured using a self-report “Student Eating Behaviours” questionnaire on 345 undergraduate university students. Four clusters were identified: “risky eating behaviours,” “mixed eating behaviours,” “moderate eating behaviours,” and “favourable eating behaviours.” Nineteen percent of students were categorised as having “favourable eating behaviours” whilst just under a third of students were categorised within the two most risky clusters. Riskier eating behaviour patterns were associated with living on campus and Christian faith. The findings of this study highlight the importance of university microenvironments on eating behaviours in university student populations. Religion as a mediator of eating behaviours is a novel finding.