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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 12, No. 2, 2012
Bioline Code: nd12021
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2012

 en CONSUMPTION OF FRUITS AMONG STUDENTS: A CASE OF A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN GHANA
Mintah, BK; Eliason, AE; Nsiah, M; Baah, EM; Hagan, E & Ofosu, DB

Abstract

Despite the enormous health and nutritional benefits that could be derived from the consumption of fruits, studies have shown that most adolescents and adults do not consume fruits as per the recommended daily intake. This study aimed at identifying the factors that hamper the consumption of fruits among university students. Four hundred and fifty-six (n = 456) out of a total population of nine thousand (N = 9000) undergraduate students were considered for the study. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to solicit answers to questions on: fruit intake and preferences, perception on fruit consumption, fruit availability, and factors that hamper students' fruit intake. Descriptive statistical techniques (frequency counts, percentage, mean and standard deviations) as well as inferential tools (one-sample T-test, Pearson product-moment correlation, Chi-square one variable test, and Binomial test) were used in the data analysis, and statistical significance determined at the 5% level (P≤0.05). Major findings from the study were that, students (65%), against expectation, do not eat the recommended serving of fruits in a day (P<0.05), whereas approximately 6% (P<0.05) do not eat fruits at all, although their perception on the consumption of fruits was good (P<0.05). Out of nine fruit types, that were readily available on the market for the subjects, pear ( Pyrus communis check for this species in other resources ) was the most preferred by students (x̄ = 3.37, P<0.05); whereas orange ( Citrus sinensis check for this species in other resources ) was the least preferred (x̄ = 2.31, P<0.05). A weak positive correlation, which was statistically significant (r = 0.13, P<0.05), was observed for students' fruit and fruit- fibre intake with respect to tangerine ( Citrus reticulata check for this species in other resources ). Also, a weak negative relationship, which was statistically significant (r = -0.14, P<0.05), was observed for the intake of oranges (Citrus sinensis) and its fibrous part. Variables such as taste, time-wasting, religious belief, knowledge, ill-health, and proximity did not significantly (P>0.05) influence the intake of fruits by the respondents (x̄ <2.50, P>0.05). Price scores (x̄ = 3.21) as well as satiety scores (x̄ = 3.32) were the significant variables found to hinder students' fruit intake (P<0.05). Strategies to increase intake of fruits, should give more attention to the price and satiety variables.

Keywords
fruit-consumption, perception, preference, factors, students

 
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