Background: Adequate nutritional knowledge is necessary for healthy dietary behaviors. The present study was conducted to compare dietary behaviors among female students in Shiraz University (SU) and Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS).
Methods: In a cross-sectional study using multi-stage sampling method, 150 female students (75 from SU and 75 from SUMS) living in the university
residences were enrolled. Demographic and anthropometric data on food consumption were collected by trained dietitians. Dietary information was extracted by Nutritionist 4 software and data analysis was performed by SPSS software.
Results: The average consumption of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and energy did not significantly differ between both groups. Contribution of carbohydrates to daily energy intake was significantly more appropriate in SUMS rather than SU students (p=0.03). Both SU and SUMS students consumed fruit, vegetables, dairy, and meat in appropriate amounts; however, fruit consumption was significantly higher in SUMS students (p=0.004). No difference was observed between the two groups regarding number of meals and snacks, and the habit of skipping meals (p=0.06).
Conclusion: SUMS students seemed to have better dietary patterns than SU students probably partly due to their higher level of information about their nutrition.