Next Article in Journal
Alterations in Circulating Amino Acid Metabolite Ratio Associated with Arginase Activity Are Potential Indicators of Metabolic Syndrome: The Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study
Previous Article in Journal
Preschool and School Meal Policies: An Overview of What We Know about Regulation, Implementation, and Impact on Diet in the UK, Sweden, and Australia
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 738; doi:10.3390/nu9070738

Country and Gender-Specific Achievement of Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines: Latent Class Analysis of 6266 University Students in Egypt, Libya, and Palestine

1
Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha 3050, Qatar
2
College of Medicine, Qatar University, Doha 3050, Qatar
3
School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Skövde 541 45, Sweden
4
Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester GL53 7TH, UK
5
Unit for Health Promotion Research, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrs Vej 9, 6700 Esbjerg, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [269 KB, uploaded 11 July 2017]

Abstract

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 (≈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. View Full-Text
Keywords: university students; healthy nutrition; physical activity; health promotion; latent class analysis; prevention research; Eastern Mediterranean university students; healthy nutrition; physical activity; health promotion; latent class analysis; prevention research; Eastern Mediterranean
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

El Ansari, W.; Berg-Beckhoff, G. Country and Gender-Specific Achievement of Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines: Latent Class Analysis of 6266 University Students in Egypt, Libya, and Palestine. Nutrients 2017, 9, 738.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top