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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


RATNER G, Rinat; HERNANDEZ J, Paulina; MARTEL A, Jorge  y  ATALAH S, Eduardo. Food quality and nutritional status in university students of eleven Chilean regions. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2012, vol.140, n.12, pp.1571-1579. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: The Chilean population has inadequate lifestyles and high prevalence ofchronic diseases. Aim: To analyze eating behaviors, nutritional status and history ofprevious diseases, in students of higher education. Material and Methods: Cross-sectional study in students of 54 higher education centers across the country. They answered a survey about dietary habits, physical activity, smoking, previous diseases and opinion oftheir nutritional condition. Weight and height were measured under standardized conditions and nutritional status classified according to body mass index. Results: We studied 6,823 students aged 17 to 29 years. Forty seven percent did not have breakfast and 35% did not have lunch every day. A low proportion had a daily consumption of vegetables (51.2%), fruits (39.4%) and dairy products (57.5%). There was a high frequency of soft drinks, chips, cakes and sweets consumption. Seventy six percent were sedentary, 40.3% smokers and 27.4% overweight or obese. The latter had a significantly higher frequency ofdiabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. There was a poor agreement between actual nutritional status and self-perception, especially in males (Kappa index 0.38). Recipients of a food scholarship provided by the Ministry of Education ate lunch usually with a higher frequency (p < 0.05). Conclusions: A high prevalence of inadequate eating and physical activity patterns in these young subjects with good educational level was observed. The food scholarship has some positive effects, although differences in socioeconomic levels limited comparisons.

Palabras clave : Adolescent; Chile; Eating; Feeding behavior; Obesity.

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