Perceived Stress and Food Consumption Frequency among Medical Students of Rawalpindi Medical University, Pakistan

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  •   Tayyab Mumtaz Khan

  •   Somia Bibi

  •   Tuba Shoaib

  •   Eisha Shoaib

  •   Amina Bibi

  •   Hajra Sajid

  •   Shahrukh Khan

  •   Amna Sohail

  •   Jehanzeb Akram

  •   Maira Naseer

  •   Madeeha Mumtaz

  •   Arslan Kareem

Abstract

Stress is a common health problem among medical students. Higher stress among students leads to change in food preference. This study was aimed to assess the relationship between perceived stress and food pattern among final-year MBBS student of Rawalpindi Medical University. This cross descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among final-year MBBS students of Rawalpindi Medical University in January 2020.Data was collected through Perceived stress scale and self-structured questionnaire about demographic details and dietary habit details. Students with irregular dietary habits were excluded. Because of non-parametric nature of data, non-parametric statistical tests including Mann–Whitney test, Kruskal–Wallis test and Multinomial logistic regression were applied to assess the variables. Statistically significant differences of perceived stress were observed across gender (p=0.000) and boarding status (p=0.004). Significant differences of perceived stress were also found across intake three frequency levels of sweet foods(p=0.000), snack foods(p=0.001) and ready to eat foods(p=0.012) while differences were non- significant across three intake frequency levels of fast foods(p=0.067) and fruits and vegetables(p=0.175).Multinomial logistic regression proposed increase intake of sweet foods, snack foods, ready to eat foods and fast foods with the increase in perceived stress while decease intake of fruits and vegetables with the increase in perceived stress. Our study shows that perceived stress changes dietary patterns and with the increase in perceived stress consumption of unhealthy foods increases while consumption of healthy foods decreases. So, by applying suitable interventions for alleviation of stress we can improve dietary habits and consequently physical health.


Keywords: Perceived Stress, Food Consumption Frequency, Final Year, MBBS, Medical Students

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