An investigation of sociodemographics, nutrition knowledge and dietary intakes of Black students attending the Steve Biko Campus of Durban Institute of Technology
Change in the dietary pattern of South Africans has been attributed to urbanisation and acculturation. Urbanisation has resulted in a shift in the composition of dietary staples and increased consumption of fat and sugar. Within a South African context, the change in diet is from a traditional prudent African diet, low in fat and high fibre to a Western diet high in fat and refined carbohydrates. Research conducted amongst young adult populations has documented several examples of poor dietary patterns associated with urbanisation which include skipping meals, following fad diets, greater consumption of snack foods (high in saturated fat and sugar) and avoidance of certain food groups, particularly fruit and vegetable. Dietary factors related to an increase in diseases of lifestyle are a high fat, low fibre diet, as well as an insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables. This in turn has lead to higher energy intakes with insufficient and imbalanced micronutrient intake. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the nutritional adequacy of student eating habits and to determine the influence of nutrition knowledge, sociodemographic factors and weight status on students’ diets.