THE VIEWPOINTS OF NURSING STUDENTS ON THEIR DIETARY BEHAVIORS
This qualitative research aims to study the viewpoints of nursing students at Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Suphanburi, Thailand on their dietary behaviors. The data were collected by using three focus groups in total of 24 nursing students. Each group comprised of 8 students with Body Mass Index (BMI) were underweight (BMI =16.2-17.6), normal body weight (BMI = 18.8-22.7), and overweight (BMI =25.2-31.2). The guiding questions were developed based on the 9 nutritions recommended by the Department of Health as followed: 1) consuming all of the five food groups, 2) eating rice and alternative sources of carbohydrate, 3) consuming adequate amount of fruits and vegetables regularly, 4) having fish, lean meat, eggs, and nuts consistently, 5) drinking milk as required age, 6) choosing less fat food,7) avoiding sugar and salt, 8) eating clean and non-contaminated food and 9) abstaining alcohol. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. The results showed two categories of students viewpoints reflect appropriate and inappropriate dietary behaviors. The appropriate dietary behaviors consist of consuming the recommended five food groups, drinking plenty of water, and limit sugar and salt. The inappropriate behaviors include eating food less than five food groups, unbalancing nutrients, drinking less water but more unhealthy beverages. Moreover, the majority of nursing students had the dietary habits which were not conformed to the nine nutritional recommendation. They often skip breakfast, always eat at night, and inadequately consume all five food groups. Therefore, the suggestion is for nursing college to establish health promotion center that promoting and improving the dietary behaviors as well as creating awareness of maintaining good health among nursing students.