Food intake of university students
ABSTRACT This narrative literature review aimed to analyze the results of studies on the food intake of university students. A literature search was conducted in July 2014 and updated in July 2016 in the Scopus, MedLine/PubMed, and SciELO databases, using descriptors related to university students and food intake in English and Portuguese. Overall, 37 studies that analyzed university students’ food intake were included in this review, eight of which were conducted in Brazil. The results demonstrated that most university students have unhealthy eating behaviors, such as high intake of fast foods, snacks, sweets, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages, and low intake of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and legumes. Undergraduate students of health sciences, such as nursing, nutrition, and medicine, did not have healthier diets. University students’ food intake was characterized as unhealthy, regardless of undergraduate program or sex, especially among students who left the parents’ home and became responsible for their own food. Therefore, there is a need of developing public policies that promote healthy eating habits among students, such as interventions to change their eating habits and increase their access to healthy foods at the university environment.