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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2018, Article ID 6785741, 6 pages
Research Article

Snacking Behaviour and Its Determinants among College-Going Students in Coastal South India

1Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India
2Georgetown University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA
3All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Basni Industrial Area, Phase-2, Jodhpur 342005, Rajasthan, India
4Prasanna School of Public Health, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence should be addressed to Rekha Thapar; ude.lapinam@rapaht.ahker

Received 14 February 2018; Revised 13 March 2018; Accepted 20 March 2018; Published 18 April 2018

Academic Editor: José María Huerta

Copyright © 2018 Prasanna Mithra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Consumption of snacks in between the regular meals is a poor snacking behaviour. It is an established risk factor for several lifestyle-related disorders and has long-term effects among the younger individuals. Objectives. To study the snacking behaviour and to assess their determinants among college-going students. Methods. This cross-sectional study was conducted among 865 college-going students in Mangaluru. Data were collected using a pretested pro forma that was coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5. The chi-square test and random-effect logistic regression analyses were used. Results. Overall, there were 52.4% females and 47.6% males, and 76.8% of them were aged <20 years. More than half of the participants (54.3%) had the habit of snacking in between regular meals. Among them, a large proportion (78.7%) did not have any specific timings for snacking. Also, 51.1% of the students were snacking while watching TV, and 31.9% of them snacked while studying. Breakfast was the most commonly skipped meal (26.2%); of those missing the breakfast regularly, 123 (71.9%) had poor snacking behaviour. A significantly larger proportion of males had a higher frequency of snacking per day (69.3% versus 57.2%, ) and consumed aerated drinks more frequently (22.6% versus 15.8%, ), skipped meals more often (58.6% versus 50.6%, ), and preferred adding fruits in snacks (78.1% versus 69.4%, ). Snacking frequency was proportionately higher among students of private colleges (73.6%) than that in the government colleges (55.1%). Participants from nonscience stream, nonvegetarians, and those with a tendency to skip the regular meals had significantly higher levels of poor snacking behaviour. Conclusions. The study population had a high level of poor snacking behaviour. Appropriate measures are needed among younger people to follow fixed eating patterns and avoid skipping of regular meals.