Protein and Calorie Intake Patterns by Hebron University Students

Sabri SAGHIR, Jamal Abo OMAR


This study was conducted to investigate the pattern of calorie and protein consumption by Hebron University students. A sample size of 238 students (males and females) of ages ranged from 18 to 23 years was the target of this study. A food frequency questionnaire and 3 days food record were designed and used, and a pilot survey was carried out among university students to identify the food items commonly eaten by them. Nutrient intakes were estimated by using WinDiets software with values based mainly on the food-composition tables. Results were expressed as mean and standard deviation (SD). ANOVA and Student’s paired t-test were used for data analysis. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

The study showed that fathers of all students investigated were of secondary education or higher. However, mothers were of lower levels of education. The majority of students were village residents (55 %) while only 8 % were refugee camps residence. About 63 % of students consumed less than 3 meals per day. Regarding the physical activity level (PAL), most of students had low to moderate activities (88 %) compared to only 12 % of them who had high activity. Calorie and protein intake was not affected by gender. However, the intake of calories was lower than that of the WHO recommendations. Family income had a significant effect (P < 0.05) on both calories and protein consumption. Similar significant trends were observed in the effects of family size and number of sibling. The consumption of all nutrients concerned was higher in Fridays compared to the consumption in Saturdays and Mondays. However, this increase in consumption is not statistically significant. In conclusion, university students have bad eating patterns when considering numbers of daily meals and fat and total calorie intakes and protein and calcium intakes were comparable with the dietary recommendations of the WHO. More studies are needed to follow up the pattern of food consumption in more detail considering more universities in the country.


Calorie, protein, university students, physical activity level

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Last updated: 20 June 2019