Eating habits and gender differences among Turkish agricultural engineering students: a cross-sectional study

Main Article Content

Özge Can Niyaz


Eating habits, gender difference, psychological factors, university students.


The aim of this study was to examine agricultural engineering students’ eating habits and the psychological factors affecting these habits, and to relate these to gender. A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 388 agricultural engineering students (40.5 % female,  59.5 % male), aged 20.5 ± 1.5 years, chosen randomly. The results of the study showed that the majority of students (63.4 %) were of normal weight (by gender - 70.0 % female,  58.9 % male). The prevalence of pre-obesity and obesity was higher among male students (34.2 % and 4.3 %) than females  (10.2 % and 2.0 %) respectively. In contrast, 17.8 % female students were categorized as underweight, as compared to 2.6 % males. With regard to eating habits,  the majority of students  (78.0 %) were not taking meals regularly. Male students (72.7 %)  generally followed more regular meal patterns than female students (86.0 %). On the other hand, female students showed healthier eating habits compared to males in terms of daily breakfast intake and daily fruit and vegetable consumption. When their behaviour was correlated with psychological factors, the majority of students were found to eat more when they were bored and when they were happy. Females reported that they ate more because they were feeling bored or feeling happy (68.2% and 65.0% respectively), while figures for male students were significantly lower (41.1 % and 47.2 % respectively). Awareness can be achieved by campus-wide information campaigns and workshops focused on aspects of nutrition.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 60 | PDF Downloads 49


Alkazemi D. Gender differences in weight status, dietary habits, and health attitudes among college students in Kuwait: a cross-sectional study. Nutr Health 2018; 25(2):75-84.
Al-Rethaiaa AS, Fahmy AA, Al-Shwaiyat NM. Obesity and eating habits among college students in Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study. Nutr J 2010; 9(39): 2-10.
Arroyo IM, Rocandio PAM, Ansotegui AL, Pasual AE, Salces BI, Rebato OE.. Diet quality, overweight and obesity in univesity students. Nutr Hosp 2006; 21(6): 673-679.
Barra CL, Fernandez PP, Granada GF, Avila CP, Mallea MJ, Rodriguez MY. Smoking among undergraduate university students. Rev Med Chil 2015; 143(10): 1343-1350.
Bertsias G, Mammas I, Linardakis M, Kafatos A. Overweight and obesity in relation to cardiovascuular disease rsik factors among medical students in Crete, Greece. BMC Public Health 2003; 3:3.
Davy SR, Benes BA, Driskell JA. Sex differences in dieting trends, eating habits, and nutrition beliefs of a group of midwestern college students. J Am Diet Assoc 2006; 106(10): 1673-1677.
Deliens T, Clarys P, Bourdeaudhuij D, Deforche B. Weight, socio-demographics, and health behaviour related correlates of academic perdormance in first year university students. Nutr J 2013;12(162): 2-9.
Driskell JA, Kim Y, Goebel KJ. Few differences found in the typical eating and physical activity habits of lower-level and upper-level university students. J Am Diet 2005; Assoc. 105(5):798-801.
Ergulen S, Saygun M, Çöl M, Sayan M. A study on the anemia frequency, effecting factors, and eating habits among the students at Ankara University. J Nutr Diet 2001; 30:24–31.
Field AE, Cheung L, Wolf AM, Herzog DB, Gortmaker SL, Colditz GA. Exposure to the mass media and weight concern among girls. Pediatrics 1999; 103(3): E36.
Ganasegeran K, Al-Dubai SA, Qureshi AM, Al-abed AA, Am R, Aljunid SM. Social and psychological factors affecting eating habits among university students in a Malaysian medical school: a cross-sectional study. Nutr J 11 2012; (48):2-7.
Genena DM, Salama AA. Obesity and eating habits among university students in Alexandria, Egypt: a cross sectional study. W J N H 2017; 5(3):62-68.
George D, Mallery M. SPSS for Windows step by step: a simple quide and reference. Boston: Pearson. 2010.
Hakim ANH, Muniandy ND, Danish A. Nutritional status and eating practices among university students in selected universities in Selangor, Malaysia. Asian Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012; 4(3):77-87.
Hair JF, Black WC, Babin BJ, Anderson RE, Tatham RL. Multivariate Data Analysis. Pearson Education Limited, Edinburgh. 2014.
Kagan DM, Squires RL. Compulsive eating, dieting, stress and hostility among college students. Journal of College Student Personnel 1984; 25(3), 213-220.
Karam W, Maalouf L, Ghandour LA. Alcohol use amon university students in Lebanon: prevalence, trends and covariates: The IDRAC University Substance Use Monitoring Study (1991 and 1999). Drug Alcohol Depend 2004; 76(3):273-286.
Lee RL, Loke AJ. Health-promoting behaviors and psychosocial well-being of university students in Hong Kong. Public Health Nurs 2005; 22(3): 209-220.
Lukacs A, Simon N, Demeter J, Danyi EK, Kiss-Toth E. Alcohol consumption among university students. Egészségtudományi Közlemények 2013; 3 (2): 57–61.
Mahfouz MS, Makeen AM, Akour AY, Madkhly TM, Hakami HM, Shaabi WM, Ageeli AF, Khawaj FA, Najmi KA, Hakami SY, Al-Ali MA. Nutritional habits and weight status among Jazan University Students: eating patterns and healthy lifestyle assesment. Epidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health 2016; 13(2): 3-7.
Mekonen T, Fekadu W, Chane T, Bitew S. Problematic alcohol use among university students. Front Psychiatry 2017; 8(86):1-5.
Musaiger AO, Lloyd OL, Al-Neyadi SM, Bener AB. Lifestyle factors associated with obesity among male university students in the United Arab Emirates. Nutrition&Food Science 2003; 33(4):145-147.
Oh S, Lee M. A study of the characteristics of dietary behaviours and food intake patterns of university students according to the Obesity Index. Korean J Food&Nutr 2006; 19(1): 79-90.
Rakıcıoğlu N, Akal YE. Energy and nutrient intake and food patterns among Turkish university students. Nutr Res Pract 2011; 5(2): 117-123.
Renner B, Knoll N, Schwarzer R. Age and body make a difference in optimistic health beliefs and nutrition behaviours. J Behav Med 2000; 7(2):143-159.
Sakamaki R, Amamoto R, Mochida Y, Shinfuku N, Toyama KA. 2005. Comparative study of food habits and body shape perception of university students in Japan and Korea. Nutr J 2005; 4(31): 1-6.
Spesific Nutrition Guide to Turkey (SNGT), 2015. Retrieved on June 08, 2012 from:,tuber-turkiye-beslenme-rehberipdf.pdf)
Tabachnick L, Fidell S. Using multivariate statistics. Pearson, Boston. 2013.
World Heath Organisation (WHO), 2019. Retrieved on May 05,2019 from:
Yahia N, Anckar A, Abdallah A, Rizk S. Eating habits and obesity among Lebanese university students. Nutr J 2008; 7(32): 2-6.

DB Error: Unknown column 'Array' in 'where clause'