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Food-Related Behavior of University Students in Misamis Occidental

Justine P. Abrenilla, Gerlie C. Ocay, Marjorie A. Pingkian, Krizelle L. Sarancial, Sheena Mae Tatoy, Rosemarie P. Pabriga, Ringgold P. Atienza

A considerable number of students in Misamis University (MU) in Misamis Occidental province are from far places and stay in lodging houses or dormitories and buy food from restaurants and fast-food chains. One goal of MU is to help ensure that students are able to obtain nutritious and affordable food. However, there is no account yet of the food-related behavior of the students. This study aimed to examine the food-related behavior of students in Misamis University, Philippines. Specifically, this study aimed to determine the socioeconomic profile of the students, examine their budgeting, means of obtaining meals, factors for food-buying, eating patterns, and saving behavior. An analysis was also carried out to determine if the behavior differs with gender and year-level of students. Survey questionnaire aided with interview was the main tool to gather data from 150 university students residing in lodging houses near the school. Results showed that many students are aged within 19-21 years old, in their second-year level, and female. The weekly allowance of many students ranged from PhP 500-1000 but few also received PhP 200 or below, and very few received PhP 2000 and above. Students were found to create rarely a weekly budget for their expenses and exercise prudence sometimes. They preferred carinderia with cleanliness, affordability of foods, and taste as their main considerations. A day for students would have three full meals and three snack time. Their weekly saving ranged from PhP 51.00- 100.00. Food outlet preference differed with gender in this study. The findings may shed light on how students spend their allowance with food need so that academic institutions such as Misamis University can implement effective interventions for students' food-related behavior.

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