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Food trends and lifestyle of college students in Zimbabwe

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Consumer Science Education and Community Development, University of Eswatini, Luyengo Campus, M205, Eswatini

Res. J. Family, Community and Consumer Sci., Volume 7, Issue (2), Pages 1-6, July,27 (2019)


Zimbabwe students in tertiary institutions face many challenges with college life especially food provisions among others. This study is a follow up on the findings to a previous research on dietary patterns of college students and implications to their health, which sought to establish food trends and life style of college students. This study was a case of a Primary Teacher Training College in Matabeleland South Province in Zimbabwe. A sample of 102 participants comprising 100 students and 2 cooks was purposively selected from a population of 206 students and kitchen staff. A mixed-methods research, using quantitative and qualitative approaches was employed where questionnaires, interviews and participant observations were used to collect data. Findings are presented from both questionnaire and interview data in combination, with interview data playing the role of supplementing quantitative findings and probing detailed information. Quantitative data were analysed using the IBM SPSS Version 23.0 while qualitative data used thematic analysis. The main study findings showed that students′ food trends comprised insufficient nutrient intake; irregular food frequency and unplanned haphazard eating patterns. The study concluded that students followed food trends and lifestyles that placed them at high risk for poor academic performance. The study recommends that all institutions that offer food to students should seek the services of nutritionists or dieticians if they are to provide well balanced diets to college students.


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