43 Patrón alimentario de estudiantes de nutrición de una universidad pública de Brazil may be also influenced by income, food security and nutrition status, due to residing away from home, and the support and retention of policies aimed at students of higher education. It can also be noted that these eating patterns, by being considered a risk, could be related to periods of greater academic activity; a condition that may have a negative impact on food choices. In this sense, it was observed that the students reported a reduction in the volume of meals in periods of greater academic activity. On the other hand, upon entering university, students tend to leave their family homes and build a new independent lifestyle, which may decrease the prevalence of healthy eating habits. This may contribute to the increased consumption of foods with a high caloric density and, consequently, increased weight gain after entry into university. Research on university students report important changes in dietary intake, especially the low intake of fruits and legumes (17,18). This change in eating habits can be an influence of leaving the family environment, since the students who live in with family tend to consume more fruit and vegetable when compared to those who live away from their home and family (13). According to Papadaki (19), students living away from the family home reduce the weekly consumption of fresh vegetables and raw and cooked fruits, which is why, in the family environment, there is a greater availability of fruits and vegetables, which are preferably chosen over other foods (20,21). On the other hand, a trend towards the greater consumption of foods considered patterns of risk, has also been reported in epidemiological research of the Brazilian population (21,22), which may indicate that the dietary profile of the students of this research may reflect the changes in the dietary patterns and nutrition of the Brazilian population over the last two decades. In this study, it was observed that during the weekend there was a change in the dietary pattern, with an increase in the consumption of foods with better nutritional value and a higher fractioning of meals. Thus, it is assumed that knowledge of food and nutrition are employed positively at opportune moments, mainly in those associated with the family context. One result of the study (3) reveals that students changed their food consumption at weekends when compared to consumption during the week. This dietary change is mainly related to greater inclusion of breakfast, improved quality of intake with the increased consumption of fruits, and the inclusion of lighter foods (3). The elevated consumption of sweets and fatty foods and lower intake of fruits and vegetables in periods of greater academic activity is proportional to the level of stress of the students (3,23). This trend was recorded in a study of students of an Australian university, in which levels of mild and moderate stress contributed to an increase in processed foods, meats and a decreased consumption of vegetables and fruits (24). In this regard, individual variability is noted as an important factor in this process because there are individuals whose stress and anxiety factors have a negative impact on their dietary intake, sometimes proportioning an increased consumption at exacerbated levels, while sometimes reducing consumption or balancing it. In addition, it was observed that only one dietary pattern (the traditional pattern) was considered protective, and was identified among students and this represents minimally the feeding habits of the students, since the foods that make up this pattern were consumed at a low frequency. The reduction in the consumption of foods of this dietary pattern, to the detriment of other extracted patterns is worrying, since they are sources of complex carbohydrates, protein of high biological value, fiber and vitamins and minerals. Thus, it is the pattern that is closest to the recommendations issued by national and international bodies to promote a healthy diet (21,22). It is noteworthy that the food consumption patterns extracted for specific populations are not always reproducible and comparable to other populations with different eating habits (25). This lack of comparability may be related to the wide use of methods that assess dietary intake, diet questionnaires containing peculiar food lists for a certain region, different nomenclatures and cultural differences of each population (10). However, despite this difficult comparison, there are no studies with the same proposal of this research, which makes it relevant. This study highlights the importance of the characterization of dietary patterns at graduation level education, since the determinants of diseases do not arise from lack of nutrients, but through the combined way that they interact with aspects of the lifestyle of the individual (26). In this sense, three patterns of food consumption were identified that, when associated with an improper lifestyle, characterized by high academic demands, and physical inactivity can be considered risk factors for the onset of chronic diseases in adulthood or in later life. Therefore, the university can promote activities in favor of a healthy lifestyle and healthy diet, in an aim to contribute to the prevention of diseases and provide a better quality of life for students. RESUMEN Estudio transversal que tuvo por objetivo identificar los patrones alimentarios de 125 estudiantes de nutrición de una universidad pública del estado de Bahía, Brasil en el 2011. Los estudiantes respondieron un cuestionario validado para frecuencia de consumo de alimentos. Se empleo análisis factoriales para los componentes principales con el fin de identificar los principales patrones alimentarios de esos estudiantes. La media de edad fue de 22,3 años (DP=3,75). En relación a los patrones alimentarios fueron identificados cuatro patrones de consumo alimentario que explican 59,8% de la variabilidad total de la dieta. El patrón 1, nombrado “tradicional”, compuesto por tubérculos, leguminosas, derivados lácteos, carnes e huevos, frutas en jugo/natural y hortalizas explicó 21,53% de la variabilidad; el patrón 2, nombrado “Días de prueba” integrado por panes/cereales, bebidas artificiales y embutidos respondió 13,85% de la variabilidad; el patrón 3, “Final de Semestre” fueron predominantes los dulces/azúcar y aperitivos este representó 13,39% de la variabilidad del consumo de alimentos: y el patrón 4 “Ansiedad” compuesto por café/te y grasas explicó 11,08% de la variación. Se observó que 38,1% de la variación del consumo de alimentos es representado por patrones de consumo de alimentos considerados inadecuados, pues son monótonos y pobres en fibra y vitaminas. Palabras clave: Comportamiento alimentario, hábitos dietéticos, dieta, universidad, nutrición. REFERENCES 1. Petribú MMV, Cabral PC, Arruda IKG. Nutritional status, food consumption and cardiovascular risk: a study on university students. Rev Nutr, 2009; 22(6):837-46. 2. Monteiro MRP. Andrade MLO, Zanirati VF, Silva RR. Eating habits and intake of female students of Nutrition and Nursing in a Brazilian public university. Rev APS, 2009;12 (3): 271-7.
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