Mahmuda Mohammad, Muhammad Abdul Baker Chowdhury, Md Nazrul Islam, Arifa Ahmed, Farha Nusrat Zahan, Mst. Farzana Akter, Shamima Naznin Mila, Tania Akhter Tani, Tanjila Akter, Tanjila Islam, Md Jamal Uddin
December 17, 2018
Article number: 20180105
Introduction University students generally face a variety of challenges. During this period of life, they practice some unhealthy eating patterns and lifestyles. Therefore, we aimed to assess the health awareness status of university students from the northeast part of Bangladesh and to evaluate its associated factors. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study using a stratified random sampling among public and private university students from the northeast region of Bangladesh and interviewed 1143 students. We used a self-reported questionnaire, including questions related to awareness status, lifestyle practice, dietary habit and socio-demographic factors. To assess students’ health awareness status and its association with their lifestyle practices and socio-demographic factors, we used logistic regression models. Results The majority (61%) of the students were not aware of better health status and their dietary habits were not adequate. Smokers [odds ratio (OR): 0.66; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.44, 0.99] were less likely to be aware of better health status. The participants who thought that they were leading a healthy lifestyle were less likely (OR: 0.71; CI: 0.56, 0.92) to be aware. Moreover, frequency of participating in sports and the psychological factors related to eating behaviors were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with health awareness status. Conclusion Our study findings may help to create a foundation for possible interventional programs on health awareness and nutritional education to improve the health awareness status and dietary behavior of university students. To prevent students from poor eating habits while feeling happy, effective programs (e.g. seminars, projects and media campaigns) should be held, which may include enhancing healthy and recommended amounts of food consumption.