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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60-64

Eating behavior and stress levels among college students

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Mount Carmel College (Autonomous), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mitravinda Aneesh
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Mount Carmel College (Autonomous), Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_1_22

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Background: Eating behavior of college students is very dynamic. College students tend to have erratic eating patterns because of long study hours in college, high workload, and lack of time. Aim: The purpose of the study was to assess the eating behavior and the stress level they experience. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 237 college-going students aged 18–24 years selected via convenience sampling. Information regarding age, sex, household income, place of stay, and self-reported weight and height was collected via an online survey. Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire was used to assess eating behavior and Perceived Stress Scale was used to assess stress levels. Results: Two-third of the students had normal body mass index (BMI). Majority of the participants (81.4%) had moderate stress levels. We found that uncontrolled eating (UE) (45%) was the most predominant eating behavior among college students. Linear regression analysis indicated that male gender and perceived stress predicted UE and emotional eating behavior, respectively. On the other hand, female gender and BMI predicted cognitive restraint eating behavior. Conclusion: Our study found that distinct eating behaviors are prevalent during the college years itself. Deep-rooted eating behaviors can make way for health risks in the near future. Hence, it is imperative to educate the college students about food and nutrition and also teach healthy stress management strategies.

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