The effect of dietary patterns on risk factors for CHD : a comparative study of students residing at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines
Jenneke, Cindy A. N.
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OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of the study was to determine the nutritional status of vegetarian and non-vegetarian students in relation to their dietary preferences and risk factors (dietary, physical inactivity and obesity) for CHD. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analytical study. Setting: The Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) situated in the province of Cavite, Philippines. METHODS: The sampling frame was all graduate students at AIIAS (n=203). Of these students 153 returned the distributed dietary questionnaires which determined dietary practices, thus yielding a stratified random sample of 70 registered students (≥20y and ≤50y) who met the inclusion criteria of the study. Three 24-hour recalls and a self-administered food frequency questionnaire assessed dietary practices. Lifestyle was assessed by means of questionnaires, which also included the socio-demographic characteristics of the subjects. Anthropometric measurements included height, weight and waist circumferences. RESULTS: Seventy subjects participated in the study [non-vegetarian (n=38) and vegetarian (n=32)]. The mean age of subjects was 33.3 [(SD) 1.6] and 38.4 (1.9) years for non-vegetarian and vegetarian males respectively, with the respective means for females being 35.7 (2.0) and 33.2 (2.1) years. The majority of the vegetarians’ income was insignificantly below $10.000 as compared with that of non-vegetarians’, in whom annual income earned was within the $10.000- $50.000 range per year. Variations in level of education between the dietary groups were small and inconsistent, most of whom were characterized by a high education level. Within this cohort, mean BMI and WC were insignificantly lower in the vegetarians when compared with the non-vegetarians. For males, the prevalence of overweight, pre-obese and obese (p>0.05) for non-vegetarians was insignificantly higher than vegetarians. Insignificantly, female vegetarians were more pre-obese than non-vegetarians. As far as waist circumference was concerned, the prevalence of subjects observed in the alerting (≥94cm) and action zone (≥102cm) (p≤0.05) was 21% and 4% for non-vegetarian males, while 0% and 6% for vegetarian males. For females, more vegetarians were insignificantly prevalent in the alerting zone (≥80cm) as compared to the nonvegetarians. Both dietary cohorts illustrated no considerable differences that exemplified moderate to a high level of physical activity. All subjects, regardless of dietary preference, were non-smokers and consumed no alcohol (p>0.05). Overall, mean daily nutrient intake met current recommendations and there was no statistically significant difference between the two cohorts, except for fat and saturated fatty acids (SFA), which was higher among the non-vegetarians. Carbohydrate and fiber consumption was greater in the vegetarians. According to the DRIs, there were no intakes above the UL, however inadequate intakes of calcium and zinc posed possible risk of deficiency for both dietary groups. CONCLUSIONS: A small percentage of subjects in both cohorts were at risk of CHD morbidity. Both groups followed good lifestyle habits with dietary choices being of greater concern among non-vegetarians.
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