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Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2456-8899, ISSN: 2231-0614 (Past),Vol.: 22, Issue.: 4


Impact of Nutrient Intake and Physical Activity Level on Nutritional Status among University Students in Ghana


Nafiu Amidu1*, Peter P. M. Dapare1 and Yussif Adams1

1Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, School of Allied Health Sciences, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.

Article Information


(1) Angelo Giardino, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas and Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.


(1) Yu Koyama, Niigata University, Japan.

(2) Fethi Ben Slama, National Institute of Public Health, Tunisia.

(3) Uttara Singh, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.

(4) Kurt Widhalm, Academic Institute for Clinical Nutrition, Vienna, Austria.

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Aim: This study assessed the impact of nutrient intake and physical activity level on nutritional status of undergraduate university students

Study Design: Cross sectional study design.

Place and Duration of Study: School of allied health sciences, University for development studies, Tamale, Ghana between January 2015 and May 2015.

Methodology: Two hundred and fifty-two (252) undergraduate students were randomly selected for this study. Data was collected on sociodemographic characteristics using a structured questionnaire, dietary intake using a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire; anthropometry and physical activity level were recorded. Nutritional status was assessed by computing the body mass index, waist circumference and waist to hip ratio.

Results: The mean age of the studied population was 22±2.24. The population was made of 103(40.87%) females and 149(59.13%) males. The results obtained show that the prevalence of overweight and obesity prevalence ranged from 9.13%-12.30% and 1.19%-2.78% respectively. The prevalence of underweight was 8.33%. Females were generally more overweight (p=<0.0001 and p=<0.0001 for WC and WHR respectively) and obese (p=0.0029 and p=0.0012 for WC and WHR respectively) than males. More males were involved in high physical activity (p=<0.0001) whiles more females were involved in low physical activity (p=<0.0001). The mean calorie intake of the study population was 2005±879.70. Males consumed more calories (p=0.0043) and proteins (p=0.0406) than females. Generally, the prevalence of underweight, overweight, obesity and low physical activity was higher among first year students.

Conclusion: This study highlights the increasing prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity among undergraduate students. It also brings to bare the higher prevalence of overweight and obesity among female university students as a consequence of reduced physical activity. Prevalence of obesity and overweight as well as underweight tends to be higher among first year university students, a resultant effect of low level of nutritional knowledge.

Keywords :

Physical activity; students; calorie intake; nutritional status.

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DOI : 10.9734/JAMMR/2017/33335

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