Relationship between diet and body fat percentage in female undergraduates
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At the turn of the millennium obesity has become the most common metabolic disease due to changes in life conditions and lifestyle. The rise of overweight and obesity is the result of inadequate energy intake relative to its expense. Only 2 to 5% of all cases of overweight or obesity have objective medical causes. In view of energy balance, equally important to the amount of calories consumed is their distribution throughout the day. Other cases are clearly the result of improper lifestyle. A basic remedy to this condition appears to be an increase in the volume of regular physical activities and the establishment of an active healthy lifestyle. The aim of the research under the grant VEGA No. 1/1343/12 "Selected risk factors of obesity and its physical prevention" was to determine the relationship between selected factors of diet and the amount of body fat in female undergraduates. The study group consisted of female students at P.J. Šafarik University (n=620, average age=20.8 years). We examined the eating habits applying a non-standardized questionnaire compiled by ourselves. We followed the frequency of meals and their regularity, (breakfast, dinner), the time and quantity of the meals consumed in the evening hours. We determined the percentage of body fat using an Omron BF51 scale. We calculated the basic statistical characteristics (arithmetic mean, median). In order to detect statistically significant differences between particular variables, we applied the non-parametric Kruskal - Valis analysis of variance (H - test) and the Man - Whitney U test. Statistically significant differences in the percentage of fat was found in students divided into groups according to their responses regarding the variable "Frequency of meals" (p = 0.023), "Dinner regularity " (p = 0.001) and "Dinner time before bedtime" (p = 0.001). The research results show the importance of diet regularity and its optimal frequency. Especially important is the regularity of dinner, while the last meal should not be consumed later than 2 hours before bedtime.
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