Dietary and Physical Activity Profiles of a Sample of College Students in Jordan

Reema F. Tayyem, Hiba A. Bawadi, Maha A. Salameh


The aim of this study was to investigate fast food consumption, eating pattern and physical activity habits among a sample of male and female students at the Hashemite University. This study was conducted on a convenient sample of 512 college students (275 males & 237 females) aged 20.8±1.4 year. Students were randomly recruited from different majors at the university in 2005. Anthropometric measurements (height, weight, and fat percent) were taken by a trained dietitian at the nutritional assessment lab. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated. All subjects were asked to complete food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) with questions on physical activity behavior. The results show that about 30% of male and 19.0 % of female students were overweight while 6.6 % of male and 5.3 % of female students were obese. No significant differences were detected between male and female students regarding obesity or overweight. Approximately 30% of the subjects, both males (28%) and females (30%) skip their breakfast daily. While 80% of male students used to take their dinner daily, 44% only of female students consume dinner on daily basis. Although, the time spent in sedentary behaviors is equal in male and female students, physical activity hours were higher in males than in females. Less than 5 % of the students reported daily consumption of fast foods. The majority of students (87%) consume white bread on daily basis and 62 % of the students never consume whole wheat bread. Chicken was the most common type of meat consumed followed by red meat, then fish. The highest frequencies were reported for vegetables and fruits in both male and female students. High percentage (40 %) reported that they never consumed whole milk, whereas 54 % consume soft drinks on daily basis. Tea followed by black and American coffee was the predominant hot beverages. Beef and chicken burgers, chicken shawerma, falafel sandwich and rice were consumed significantly (P <0.05) more by males while consumption of fresh vegetables was significantly (P <0.05) higher in females. It is recommended to further investigate the eating habits of college students in Jordan and think of intervention to improve such habits.


Dietary Profile, Physical Activity Profile, Anthropometric Measurements, Food Frequency Questionnaire, Fast Food Consumption

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