King Saud bin Abdul-Aziz, UAE
Title: Nutrition profile of youth female health science students in Riyadh
Ghadir Mohammad Almusa is an Intern student at the College of Nursing, King Saud bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences KSA
Background: Female youth students with decreased nutritional state perform less than male youth student. Malnutrition during early life inhibits normal growth and affects mental developmental, and also decrease the motivation and the energy level which results in the reduction of the academic performance.Objectives: this study aimed to identify the nutritional profile of female health science students in Riyadh. Setting: College of Nursing (females only) and College of Medicine (females only) affiliated to king Saud bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences – Riyadh, Saudia Arabia were included in the study.Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. Subjects: Convenience samples of 100 students from the college of nursing and 72 students from the college of medicine were included. All students who were present at their college at the time of data collection were included in the study, giving a total number of 172 female students. Inclusion criteria: female student, enrolled in one of the above mentioned colleges, age between 18 and 28 years old, free from any chronic illness, not pregnant or breastfeeding, free from any physical disability and agreed voluntarily to participate in the study. Two tools were used for data collection: Youth student's bio-socio-demographic and lifestyle structured interview schedule and youth student's nutrition profile.Results: Medicine students tends to have higher BMI than nursing students as slightly less than one quarter (22.0%) of the nursing students were underweight compared to 12.5% of the medicine students, and, 14% of the nursing students were overweight compared to almost one fifth (20.8%) of the medicine students with no statistically significant difference. Significant correlation was depicted between headache and BMI (X2=11.673, P=0.015), and highly significant correlation was found between loss of appetite and BMI of the assessed students (X2=17.988, P=0.004). In addition, body mass index of the study sample was significantly associated with academic achievement (X2= 2.270, P=0.024). Recommendations: Students need to have strategic college-based nutritional program including nutrition education and physical activity which is expected to be reflected on better academic performance.