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The Coexistence of Underweight and Overweight in University Students
As said elsewhere the double burden of malnutrition is an emerging nutritional problem in countries that are in nutrition transition which has become a great concern.
By Tefera Tezera
Mar. 28, 2016

As said elsewhere the double burden of malnutrition is an emerging nutritional problem in countries that are in nutrition transition which has become a great concern. WHO in 1997 recognized the burden of obesity alarming globally? Obesity is estimated the fifth leading cause of mortality and risk factor for many non-communicable diseases. On the other hand, underweight is widely recognized major problem in most developing countries due to their eating attitude compromising the intake of essential nutrients lending to double burden of malnutrition. The changes in the nutritional intake combined with increasingly sedentary life styles resulting from food market, globalization and increasing urbanization has led to the emergence of chronic disease as a major new health threat.

In this report, we present the life style changes that occurred as a result of the obvious transition of staying away from their parents. The major life styles ranged from bad eating habits to consumption of energy-dense foods coupled with reduced energy expenditure facilitating which facilitated their weight gain. Weight gains seen in may be the result of negative health behaviors, contributing significantly to energy intake. Besides, a small increase in energy intake over the university years could lead to students to be overweight by the time they complete university which may track into adulthood. Skipping of meals among others leading to deficient intake of macronutrients encountered may also influence their life style. Nevertheless, some good stories to tell are also witnessed such as decrease in whole-fat dairy products and white bread and margarine intake, though some few noted as well to decreased their consumption of fresh fruit, cooked and raw vegetables, oily fish, and increased their sugar and fast food intake.

There are other factors that play a role in the food choices of the students among both genders. Peer pressure to consume fast food in both males and female students depending on their socio economic status, nutritional knowledge and decrease physical activity. The selection of unhealthy food and high cost of healthy foods may have a negative impact on them as well and requires the attention of the university management.

The authors uncovered the coexistence of both underweight and overweight and concluded that focused nutrition education and appropriate meal planning will help to improve the prevailing nutritional problem.

Tefera tezera and Jemal Haidar,

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