Consumption of fruits among students: A case of a public university in Ghana
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AbstractDespite 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&rsquo; 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&le;0.05). Major findings from the study were that, students (65%) significantly do not eat the recommended serving of fruits in a day (P&lt;0.05), whereas approximately 6% (P&lt;0.05) do not eat fruits at all, although their perception on the consumption of fruits was good (P&lt;0.05). Out of nine fruit types, that were readily available on the market for the subjects, pear (Pyrus communis) was the most preferred by students (x̄ = 3.37, P&lt;0.05); whereas orange (Citrus sinensis) was the least preferred (x̄ = 2.31, P&lt;0.05). A weak positive correlation, which was statistically significant (r = 0.13, P&lt;0.0005), was observed for students&rsquo; fruit and fruit-fibre intake with respect to tangerine (Citrus reticulata). Also, a weak negative relationship, which was statistically significant (r = -0.14, P&lt;0.0005), was observed for the intake of oranges (Citrus sinensis) and its fibrous part. Variables such as taste, time-wasting, religious belief, knowledge, illhealth, and proximity did not significantly (P&gt;0.05) influence the intake of fruits by the respondents (x̄&lt;2.50, P&lt;0.05). Price scores (x̄ = 3.21) as well as satiety scores (x̄ = 3.32) were the significant variables found to hinder students&rsquo; fruit intake (P&lt;0.05). Strategies to increase intake of fruits, should give more attention to the price and satiety variables.