Nutritional status assessment of the technical and vocational students' community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The General Organization for Technical Education and
Vocational Training, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has developed a
special feeding program for the students at its
institutions. The effects of this program on the nutritional
and health status of these students have not been evaluated
yet, and since no published dietary research has been
performed on Technical and Vocational young adult male
students, the present work was undertaken to investigate the
nutritional status of this community in Riyadh, Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia.
After a pilot survey, it was decided to use a selfcompleted
questionnaire combined with personal interview to
investigate the nutritional status of 690 students randomly
selected from the study population.
Dietary data was collected by two methods: usual weekly
intakes "diet history" and actual daily intakes "diet
diary". The nutrient intakes were calculated using the
unilever Dietary Analysis Program (UNIDAP).
The statistical Package for the social Science
(SPSS/PC+) was employed to analyse the data; statistical
significance of relationships between certain sets of data
was determined by chi-square analysis.
Some general factors affecting the nutritional status
of these students were identified, their nutritional habits
and attitudes were investigated, and the average daily
intakes of energy, the macronutrients, and selected
micronutrients were calculated.
The main results of this study shows that the majority
of the study population are adolescent, moderately active
individuals, and have lower than the standard range of the
Body Mass Index; anaemia is the most stated health problem;
meal-skipping and eating between meals are common habits
amongst the students. Regarding nutrient intake, there was
an energy, polyunsaturated fat, and vitamin C deficiency;
adequate intake of saturated fat, dietary fibre, retinol,
and zinc; more than adequate intake of protein, total fat,
cholesterol, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, and iron.
Recommendations are given which aim to improve the
nutrition of technical and vocational students.