Effect of Student Eating Habits and Implication towards their Health

Khairunesa Isa, Sarala Thulasi Palpanadan
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia


The emerging market of fast food industry around the world is expected to change the eating habits of the current generation, especially among students. In particular, fast food consumption is often associated with its negative impacts on one’s nutrition and health compared to the traditional foods that have been consumed across different populations of varying regions over an extended period of time. Indeed, it is very important to determine food consumption behaviour among students to prevent any implications on their health and behavioural intentions. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to identify university student knowledge of healthy food and the contributing factors towards food selection. A total of 400 students were selected using simple random sampling method, whereby the data obtained were then analysed descriptively via Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The analysis indicated that the respondents had a high level of knowledge about healthy food, with a mean score value of 4.32. Using descriptive statistics, almost 92 per cent of the sampled students preferred choosing traditional food as their everyday meal as opposed to fast food. Meanwhile, price was the main factor that contributed to their choice of traditional food, followed by family influence and peer. Based on Multiple Regression Analysis, the overall findings indicated that 23 per cent of student health was influenced by the contributing factors towards the selection of foods and knowledge of food. In particular, the contributing factor towards food selection was identified as the dominant factor affecting student health. In conclusion, the knowledge about healthy food plays an important role to determinat the level of student and individual health as well. Awareness and knowledge of healthy eating should be disseminated to all groups, since Malaysia is the highest country in Asia with adult obesity.

Keywords: Eating habits, Family-influenced, Food selection, Price, Student health