NURITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND HABITS ON SALT OF COLLEGE STUDENTS: BASES FOR CURRICULAR REVISIONS IN HEALTH EDUCATION

Maria Cecilia V. Zamora

To date, studies reveal that years spent in college result in unhealthy dietary habits of students. In Indiana, USA, “students have a fair knowledge of nutritional requirements for health, however, food choices they make are not necessarily healthy. Convenience and taste of food were priority” (Abraham, Noriega, & Ju Young, 2018). Contrary in the Philippines, little is known about the nutritional knowledge and habits of college students, salt awareness is not emphasized in the curriculum, as well as the dearth of materials available. In this regard, this study applied a quantitative with descriptive design in order (1) to explore college students’ knowledge and habits on salt through the application of food literacy model and adaptation of a four-paged questionnaire; (2) to use the results as bases for curricular revisions of Health Education in both Basic Education and Tertiary Education; and (3) to develop health literacy materials that will enhance the students’ knowledge and healthy dietary practices.

It employed a stratified random sampling of 664 college students. Data was analyzed using frequency and percentages. The food literacy model and the questionnaire provided sufficient results on college students’ knowledge and habits on salt. The results would contribute to both the K to 10 Health Education curriculum and Nutrition Education course in the tertiary level. Curricular revisions would emphasize on knowledge (awareness of the benefits and effects of salt, and recommended amount of salt needed by the body), eating habits (frequency of salt intake, salt regulation and reduction); and inclusion of health literacy activities and materials on salt