Determinants and implications of dietary habits among students at the University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es salaam
The main objective of this study was to explore the determinants and social-economic implications of dietary among students at the University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania. The study was embarked on against the current gap that exists as regards how students eating habits can impact on their social and economic life. A total sample of 240 students were involved the study, including some non student respondents, totaling six (6) in number, that were interviewed to follow up on the health and other related consequences that go with dietary habits. The study used a mixed methods approach in data collection and analysis. The principal instruments for data collection were the questionnaire and focus group discussion, as well as in-depth interviews. The research findings revealed that among the major determinants of dietary habits of the students studied are media socialization, financial status of the students which determined what and where they ate, and peer influence. Other instigating factors include the existing university policy which prohibits students to opt to go to eat in private cafeterias like Hill Park, Kiswahili, Utawala, Restaurants (Bar0 and UDASA. The trend therefore showed that students’ dietary habits at the university are influenced more by the new social realities in which they found themselves than by the previous cultural habits of eating and drinking they came with from their various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. In subjecting themselves to this process they ended up developing other food preferences in addition to the staple foods into which they had been socialized; with this process leading to their maintaining contact in their food habits, between the forces of modernity and traditional tastes. The study concluded that dietary habits of students at the university is unhealthy and has economic implications to them. The determinants of students’ dietary habits are mostly structural and required concerted efforts to deal with them. It is recommended that there is a need to incorporate dietary information during orientation weeks at the University in order to raise awareness of students to some of the negative consequences of unplanned and irresponsible eating habits.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library, (THS EAF LB2411.T34Z82)
Dietary habits, students, University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania
Zuberi, Y. R (2010) Determinants and implications of dietary habits among students at the University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam