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Country and Gender-Specific Achievement of Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines: Latent Class Analysis of 6266 University Students in Egypt, Libya, and Palestine
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education. Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar / College of Medicine, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar / Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Individ och samhälle (VIDSOC), Individual and Society)
Unit for Health Promotion Research, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark.
2017 (English)In: Nutrients, ISSN 2072-6643, E-ISSN 2072-6643, Vol. 9, no 7, 1-12 p., 738Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on healthy behaviour such as physical activity and healthy nutrition and their combination is lacking among university students in Arab countries. The current survey assessed healthy nutrition, and moderate/vigorous physical activity (PA) of 6266 students in Egypt, Libya, and Palestine. We computed a nutrition guideline achievement index using WHO recommendation, as well as the achievement of PA recommendations using guidelines for adults of the American Heart Association guidelines. Latent class regression analysis identified homogenous groups of male and female students, based on their achievements of both guidelines. We examined associations between group membership and achievement of guidelines. A three-class solution model best fitted the data, generating three student Groups: "Healthy Eaters" (7.7% of females, 10.8% of males), "Physically Active" (21.7% of females, 25.8% of males), and "Low Healthy Behaviour" (70.6% of females, 63.4% of males). We did not observe a latent class that exhibited combined healthy behaviours (physically active and healthy eaters), and there were no major differences between countries. We observed a very low rate of healthy nutrition (approximate to 10% of students achieved greater than four of the eight nutrition guidelines), with little gender differences across the countries. About 18-47% of students achieved the PA guidelines, depending on country and gender, more often among males. Few females achieved the PA guidelines, particularly in Libya and Palestine. Culturally adapted multi-behavioural interventions need to encourage healthy lifestyles, nutrition and PA behaviours. National policies need to promote active living while addressing cultural, geographic, and other barriers to young adults' engagement in PA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG , 2017. Vol. 9, no 7, 1-12 p., 738
Keyword [en]
university students, healthy nutrition, physical activity, health promotion, latent class analysis, prevention research, Eastern Mediterranean
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
Individual and Society VIDSOC
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14058DOI: 10.3390/nu9070738ISI: 000406679700094PubMedID: 28696407Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85023772186OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-14058DiVA: diva2:1137377
Available from: 2017-08-31 Created: 2017-08-31 Last updated: 2017-09-28Bibliographically approved

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