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Examining the differences of food-related behavior in two different countries

Rany Adelina (Department of Nutrition, Health Polytechnic of Health Ministry Malang, Malang, Indonesia)
Esti Nurwanti (Department of Nutrition, Almaata University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia and International PhD Program in Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 8 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Study location may cause a different type of socio-demographic, body mass index (BMI), study intensity and food-related behavior. The increasing number of Indonesia students who study abroad to Taiwan is interesting to be examined those factors related. The purpose of this study is to examine the food-related behavior of Indonesian college students in different study location.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used to administer questionnaires assessing socio-demographic, BMI, study intensity, meal preparations, food access and eating behavior of Indonesian college students (n = 493). Study location took in two cities and different countries (Indonesia and Taiwan). Analysis statistics was using frequency descriptive, Chi-square test, Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney U test, Kruskal–Wallis test and Logistic regression.

Findings

The trend showed students who lived in Malang tended to have healthier eating behavior. Students tended to have a higher prevalence of low study intensity, dependent meal preparation and difficult food access in Taipei. There was a significant relationship between study location and study intensity (p < 0.01), study location and BMI (p < 0.01), study location and meal preparation (p < 0.01), study location and food access (p = 0.02). On the other hand, eating behavior had no significant relationship with study location (p = 0.28). Marital status became the most dominant variable in influencing obesity (OR = 0.198). Findings indicate that there are significant differences between study location with marital status, BMI, study intensity, meal preparation and food access, but not eating behavior. Moreover, married status is most influencing to obesity risk.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this research were data of height and weight was not be measured directly. Moreover, the reliability of the instrument was unexpected. In the future, research needs improvement more sample for fixing it. Moreover, to support initiatives to incorporate eating behavior into body weight management strategies may be needed. The implications are to create an effective nutrition education for Indonesian college students. Hopefully, it will be influencing public attitudes and affecting the quality of life.

Practical implications

Further investigation should consider longitudinal studies to explore the different effects of eating behavior on overweight and obesity. Nutritional education programs should give to young adults not only in developed but also in developing countries.

Originality/value

This paper shows our findings about the difference study location that may cause a different type of eating behavior. The research subject was Indonesian college students who live and study in two cities, Malang-Indonesia and Taipei-Taiwan. The trend showed students who live in Malang tend to have healthier eating behavior. On the other hand, study intensity, meal preparation and food access were significantly different in both cities. Indonesian college students in Taipei tended to have the higher prevalence of low study intensity, dependent meal preparation and difficult food access. The authors believe that the findings would appeal to a broad audience, especially for improving meal preparation in college students who study abroad.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported financially by Health Polytechnic of Health Ministry Malang, Indonesia. The authors thank to participants for collecting with data. Moreover, thanks all enumerators (Aninda Azizah, Fadilah Pamuji and Hilda Mazarina) and my research assistants (Kiswatul Hidayah and Rizqka Nusa) for reviewing manuscript, analyzing, and collecting data.

Authors’ contributions: Adelina R, principal investigor, conceptualized and designed the study, prepared the draft of the manuscript, reviewed the manuscript, led the data collection, conducted the study, and did data analysis and interpretation; Nurwanti E, second author, helped writing manuscript and interpreting data.

Citation

Adelina, R. and Nurwanti, E. (2019), "Examining the differences of food-related behavior in two different countries", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 49 No. 4, pp. 739-751. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-07-2018-0196

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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