*Onyeji Gertrude Nneka and Ejike Chukwunonso E.C.C
Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Alex Ekueme Federal
University Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
*Corresponding author’s e-mail: [email protected]
Background: Eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day is associated with the reduction in
the risk of chronic diseases. There is paucity of data on the patterns of fruits and vegetables consumption among
students in Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo (AEFUNAI).
Objective of the study: The study aimed at assessing nutrition knowledge, fruits and vegetables consumption patterns among students of AEFUNAI.
Method: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. A total of 470 students aged (17-27 years) (234 males and 236
females) participated in this study. A semi-structured pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to
collect data on height, weight, socio-demographic profile, nutritional knowledge, fruits and vegetables consumption
pattern. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square. Statistical significance was determined at 5%
level (P <0.05).
Results: About 88.7% of the respondents were in the age range of 17 – 24 years. Mean age and BMI of males were
21.72 ± 2.80 years and 22.15 ±2.42 kg/m2 while those of females were 20.64 ±2.12 years and 23.2±3.5 kg/m2
respectively. About 92 % of the respondents had a good knowledge about the nutritional benefits of fruits and
vegetables. More females than males consumed fruits always or sometimes but the differences were not significant
(p>0.05). About 70.9% and 76.0% of the respondents did not have any idea about the minimum daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables respectively. Commonly consumed fruits were watermelon, apples, banana and orange while fruited pumpkin, carrot, bitter leaf and cucumber were the commonly consumed vegetables. Variables such as availability and price significantly (p<0.05) hindered the students’ fruit and vegetable intake.
Conclusions: Results of this study suggest inadequate Fruits and Vegetables consumption among students of
AEFUNAI. Cost and availability appears to be the major hindrance to adequate consumption of Fruits and Vegetables among students of AEFUNAI.
Key Words: Fruits, Vegetables, Consumption, Knowledge, Male and Female Undergraduates.