Affiliations: [a] Research Group on Foods, Nutritional Biochemistry and Health, Universidad Europea del Atlántico, Santander, Spain | [b] Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana, Campeche, Mexico | [c] Universidad Europea del Atlántico, Santander, Spain
Corresponding author: Iñaki Elío Pascual, Research Group on Foods, Nutritional Biochemistry and Health, Universidad Europea del Atlántico, Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Cantabria, c/Isabel Torres, 21, postal code 39011, Santander (Cantabria), Spain. Tel.: +34 942244244; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:In Spain, there are several studies published on the relationship between eating habits and lifestyle among university students; but only a few of them are focused on online postgraduate students. OBJECTIVE:Herein we aimed to evaluate the degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet pyramid (2010 edition), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and lifestyle in online postgraduate students aged 20–65 years belonging to the food area of the Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana (FUNIBER). METHODS:We performed a descriptive cross-sectional study including 100 online post-graduate students aged 20–65 years who were recruited by an accidental non-probabilistic sampling method consisting of a questionnaire on their sociodemographic characteristics, NCDs, lifestyle, and a 3-day food intake record (3-d). RESULTS:The profile of the students was 74% women, with a mean age of 36.6 (±10.5) years and body mass index (BMI) of 22.6 kg / m2 (±3.3). 71% of the volunteers presented normal weight, while 20% were overweight. Indeed, only a low percentage of the volunteers presented hypertension (1%), cardiovascular disease (0%), diabetes mellitus 1 (2%), diabetes mellitus 2 (3%), hypercholesterolemia (9%), and hyperuricemia (2%). Concerning lifestyle, (77%) of students were non-smokers, (78%) consumed beverages with caffeine, (51%) did not consume alcoholic beverages, and nearly all of them (84%) frequently (3 times /week) practiced physical activity. 68% of the recruited students exhibited adherence to “Medium diet quality diet (4–7)” followed by (26%) with a “Poor diet quality (<3)” and “Optimal diet quality” (6%). CONCLUSIONS:Spanish postgraduate students of the nutritional area, have good health and a healthy lifestyle but are moving away from the MD model, should be established campaigns for the improvement of eating habits of the postgraduate university population.