Scientific journal

52 2013

Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
Summary No. 3 / 2013

Bagordo, F. – Grassi, T. – Serio, F. – Idolo, A. – De Donno, A.
Dietary habits and health among university students living at or away from home in southern Italy
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 52, 2013, No. 3, s. 164-171

Antonella De Donno, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (Di.S.Te.B.A.), University of Salento, via Prov. le Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy. Tel.: 0039 0832 298687, e-mail:

Summary: The aim of this study was to assess the eating habits of a group of university students, to highlight any differences between students living at and away from home and to examine aspects of their health and nutritional status. One hundred and ninety-three undergraduate students at the University of Salento (Lecce, Italy) completed a self-administered food habits questionnaire divided into three major sections: demographic, social and cultural characteristics, eating habits, health information. Students living at home got more physical exercise and consumed higher quantities of cooked vegetables, fish, meat products, chips, bread/cereals, pulses, cooked meals and sandwiches. In contrast, students living away from home were characterized by higher consumption of raw vegetables, beer and alcoholic drinks, raw/cold meals, frozen meals and ready meals. Moreover, students living alone reported a greater number of episodes of gastroenteritis and perceived that they had a larger body mass. Student lifestyles and living arrangements were associated with a shift away from the Mediterranean diet and would appear to expose students to the risk of food-borne illness. This appeared more evident among students living away from home, for whom the assumption of primary responsibility for food shopping and preparation can lead to unhealthy dietary habits.

Keywords: dietary habits; food frequency questionnaire; Mediterranean diet; undergraduate students

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