Nutritional habits in Italian university students



Introduction. Dietary habits have been indicated by research as key elements in both disease pathogenesis and prevention and health promotion. Materials and methods. We analyzed data collected from Italian university students regarding consumption of fruits, vegetables, fast-foods, sweets, energizing drinks, and coffee, average number of eating episodes per day and regularity of breakfast habits.  Results. 44% of the university student population eats in average at least 1 portion of  fruit per day. 22.5% eats at least 2 portions of vegetables per day. 8.5% eats in average 5 times per day with 48.6% declaring an average of 3 eating episodes per day. 11.3% consumes eccessive amounts of caffeine. 49.1% of the females reaches the recommended consumption of fruit, compared to only 33.8% of males (p < 0.05). 27.7% of females eats at least 2 portions of vegetables per day, compared to 12.0% of males (p < 0.05). Eccessive coffee drinkers pass from 8.9% in the 18-21 age group to 16% in the 25-30 year old age group (p < 0.05). Discussion. This study showed that the eating habits of young adults do not follow national recommendations. Less than 50% of university students eats at least 1 portion of fruit per day and less than 1 out of 4 eats at least 2 portions of vegetables per day. Less than 10% of the students eats in average 5 times per day and more than 1 out of 3 does not have breakfast regularly every morning. Conclusion. Interventions targeting university students are required in order to increase their knowledge on healthy eating habits and to ameliorate their dietary behaviours.


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Adele Anna Teleman

Chiara de Waure

Valentina Soffiani

Andrea Poscia

Maria Luisa Di Pietro

How to Cite
Teleman, A. A., de Waure, C., Soffiani, V., Poscia, A., & Di Pietro, M. L. (2015). Nutritional habits in Italian university students. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 51(2), 99–105. Retrieved from
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