Snacking behaviour and its determinants among college-going students in Coastal South India

Prasanna Mithra, Bhaskaran Unnikrishnan, Rekha Thapar, Nithin Kumar, Sharana Hegde, Anjali Mangaldas Kamat, Vaman Kulkarni, Ramesh Holla, B. B. Darshan, Kanchan Tanuj, Vasudev Guddattu, Avinash Kumar

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Consumption of snacks in between the regular meals is a poor snacking behaviour. It is an established risk factor for several lifestyle-related disorders and has long-term effects among the younger individuals. Objectives. To study the snacking behaviour and to assess their determinants among college-going students. Methods. This cross-sectional study was conducted among 865 college-going students in Mangaluru. Data were collected using a pretested pro forma that was coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5. The chi-square test and random-effect logistic regression analyses were used. Results. Overall, there were 52.4% females and 47.6% males, and 76.8% of them were aged <20 years. More than half of the participants (54.3%) had the habit of snacking in between regular meals. Among them, a large proportion (78.7%) did not have any specific timings for snacking. Also, 51.1% of the students were snacking while watching TV, and 31.9% of them snacked while studying. Breakfast was the most commonly skipped meal (26.2%); of those missing the breakfast regularly, 123 (71.9%) had poor snacking behaviour. A significantly larger proportion of males had a higher frequency of snacking per day (69.3% versus 57.2%, p < 0.0001) and consumed aerated drinks more frequently (22.6% versus 15.8%, p 0.011), skipped meals more often (58.6% versus 50.6%, p 0.022), and preferred adding fruits in snacks (78.1% versus 69.4%, p 0.005). Snacking frequency was proportionately higher among students of private colleges (73.6%) than that in the government colleges (55.1%). Participants from nonscience stream, nonvegetarians, and those with a tendency to skip the regular meals had significantly higher levels of poor snacking behaviour. Conclusions. The study population had a high level of poor snacking behaviour. Appropriate measures are needed among younger people to follow fixed eating patterns and avoid skipping of regular meals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6785741
JournalJournal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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