1Uerj, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Antecedents and objective: Entering a university is usually marked by a series of changes in the life of an adolescent who becomes a young adult. Such changes can impact eating habits resulting in poorer quality of food. The objective of the study is to describe the diet of university students entering a public university in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study, using online data collection, carried out with freshmen from the year 2022 of undergraduate courses at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), in Brazil. The survey form was inserted on the Google Forms platform and contained nine blocks, one of which was about the report of consumption on the previous day (including 12 in natura or minimally processed subgroups and 13 ultra-Processed subgroups, the latter named NOVA score). From these items, two scores were generated, in which consumption resulted in the attribution of one point and non-consumption in zero. Results: 924 students were evaluated (approximately 20% of freshmen), 62% woman and 32% man and with ages ranging from 18 to 71. Consumption on the previous day of more than 5 in natura or minimally processed foods was reported by 80% of the students (n=742), while for ultra-Processed foods 39% of those evaluated (n=359) reported having consumed more than 5 items on the day previous. The most consumed items among those in natura or minimally consumed were “Rice, pasta, polenta, couscous or green corn” (94%) and meat (87%). Among the Ultra-Processed products were “Bread, hot dogs or hamburgers” and margarine (47%). Conclusions: Although the consumption of fresh or minimally processed foods by university students was higher than that of ultra-Processed foods, high consumption of these foods was observed in more than a third of the population.
Keywords: food; students; NOVA score; university.