Influence of educational interventions on nutrition and sustainability in Ecuadorian university students residing in Honduras

Main Article Content

Jean Pierre Enriquez
Adriana Hernández-Santana


Eating habits can be compromised in the transition to college life specially in a new country. In addition, the eating patterns of college students could be improved through various strategies during the college adjustment process. A key point is nutrition and sustainability, whose content can be taught through educational sessions at universities. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of educational interventions and adherence to the Mediterranean diet (DM) in Ecuadorian first-year university students in Honduras, where the student population of Ecuador ranks second, after Honduras. Eating patterns were evaluated using a questionnaire on adherence to MD and one on eating behaviors. The educational interventions focused on the benefits of sustainability, culture, environment, and health that DM provides. The study had a diagnostic phase with the participation of the universe of students (n = 65), and an intervention phase where 32 students participated: 18 in the group that received nutritional education and 14 in the control group. The group that received educational intervention improved their eating behaviors, going from unhealthy to moderately healthy, however, adherence to DM did not show increases at the end of the interventions (p> 0.05). The control group did not present changes in any attribute, remaining in unhealthy behaviors and low adherence to DM. Fifty percent of the students in the intervention group returned to Ecuador during the COVID-19 crisis, while in the control group it was 71.4%. In conclusion, it is important to provide advice on nutrition and sustainability from the beginning of university studies, since young people migrate to a country with totally different customs from those of Ecuador and even the Andean Community.
Abstract 376 | PDF (Español (España)) Downloads 127 PDF Downloads 93 HTML (Español (España)) Downloads 1 EPUB (Español (España)) Downloads 1


Abraham, S., B. R. Noriega y J. Y. Shin (2018). «College students eating habits and knowledge of nutritional requirements». En:Journal of Nutrition and Human Health 2.1, 13-17. Online:

Anderson, J. (2019). «Concepts of Stability in Food Security». En: Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability. Elsevier, 8-15. Online:

Beasley, E. (2016). «Country Roads Take Me ... ?: A Cultural Analysis of College Pathways among Rural, First-Generation Students». En: Paradoxes of the Democratization of Higher Education (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy). Vol. 22. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 127-163. Online:

Bonaccio, M. y col. (2013). «Nutrition knowledge is associated with higher adherence to Mediterranean diet and lower prevalence of obesity. Results from the Moli-sani study». En: Appetite 68, 139-146. Online:

Boucher, D., C. Gagné y F. Côté (2015). «Effect of an intervention mapping approach to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables among young adults in junior college: A quasiexperimental study». En: Psychology & Health 30.11, 1306-1325. Online:

Boyle, J. y N. LaRose (2009). «Personal beliefs, the environment and college students’ exercise and eating behaviors». En: American Journal of Health Studies 23.4, 195-200. Online:

Bryła, P. (2016). «Organic food consumption in Poland: Motives and barriers». En: Appetite 105, 737-746. Online:

Byrd, C. y col. (2008). «Risky Eating Behaviors of Young Adults - Implications for Food Safety Education». En: Journal of the American Dietetic Association 108.3, 549-552. Online:

Cadarso, A. y col. (2017). «Calidad de vida relacionada con la salud y su relación con la adherencia a la dieta mediterránea y la actividad física en universitarios de Galicia (Health related to quality of life and their relationship with adherenceto the mediterranean diet and physical activity at the university in Galicia)». En: Nutrición Clínica y Dietética Hospitalaria 37.2, 42-49. Online:

Das, M. y E. Evans (2014). «Understanding Weight Management Perceptions in First-Year College Students Using the Health Belief Model». En: Journal of American College Health 62.7, 488-497.Online:

Dernini, S. y col. (2016). «Med Diet 4.0: the Mediterranean diet with four sustainable benefits». En: Public Health Nutrition 20.7, 1322-1330. Online:

Donini, L. y col. (2016). «A Consensus Proposal for Nutritional Indicators to Assess the Sustainability of a Healthy Diet: The Mediterranean Diet as a Case Study». En: Frontiers in nutrition 3.37, 1-14. Online:

Durá, T. y A. Castroviejo (2011). «Adherence to a Mediterranean diet in a college population». En: Nutrición Hospitalaria 26.3, 602-608. Online:

Dussaillant, C. y col. (2016). «Evidencia actual sobre los beneficios de la dieta mediterránea en salud (Current evidence on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet)». En: Revista médica de Chile 144.8, 1044-1052. Online:

FAO (2012). Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity. 1st. Rome. Online:

Flaudias, V. y col. (2020). «COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and problematic eating behaviors in a student population». En: Journal of Behavioral Addictions 9.3, 826-835. Online:

Freire, W. y col. (2018). «Overweight, obesity, and food consumption in Galapagos, Ecuador: a window on the world». En: Globalization and Health 14.93, 1-9. Online:

García, M. y col. (2014). «Adherence to Mediterranean diet in a Spanish university population». En: Appetite 78, 156-164. Online:

Gómez, R. (2018). «Revisión sobre el aceite de oliva: historia, impacto mediático y sus aplicaciones médicas en la dieta mediterránea (Review of olive oil: history, media impact and its medical applications in the Mediterranean diet)». En: Revista Colombiana de Endocrinología, Diabetes & Metabolismo 5.4, 26-31. Online:

Gropper, S. y col. (2012). «Weight and Body Composition Changes during the First Three Years of College». En: Journal of Obesity 2012, 1-6. Online:

Guidi, J. y col. (2009). «The prevalence of compulsive eating and exercise among college students: An exploratory study». En: Psychiatry Research 165.1-2, 154-162. Online:

Hekler, E., C. Gardner y T. Robinson (2010). «Effects of a College Course About Food and Society on Students Eating Behaviors». En: American Journal of Preventive Medicine 38.5, 543-547. Online:

Hilger, J. y K. Diehl (2019). «‘Oh God, I Have to Eat Something, But Where Can I Get Something Quickly?’ A Qualitative Interview Study on Barriers to Healthy Eating among University Students in Germany». En: Nutrients 11.10, 2440. Online:

Kearney, J. (2010). «Food consumption trends and drivers». En: Philosophical transactions of the royal society B: biological sciences 365.1554, 2793-2807. Online:

Márquez, Y. y col. (2014). «Diseño y validación de un cuestionario para evaluar el comportamiento alimentario en estudiantes mexicanos del área de la salud (Design and validation of a questionnaire to evaluate eating behavior in Mexican students in the health area)». En: Nutrición Hospitalaria 30.1, 153-164. Online:

Martínez, M. y col. (2015). «Benefits of the Mediterranean diet: insights from the PREDIMED study». En: Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases 58.1, 50-60. Online:

Míguez, M. y col. (2013). «Variations of the diet of Galician university students (Ourense Campus) in relation to the pattern of the cardioprotective Mediterranean diet)». En: Nutrición Hospitalaria 28.6, 2099-2106. Online:

Miller, T., L. Chandler y M. Mouttapa (2015). «A needs assessment, development, and formative evaluation of a health promotion smartphone application for college students». En: American Journal of Health Education 46.4, 207-215. Online:

Navarro, I. y col. (2014). «Adherence to the Mediterranean diet by nursing students of Murcia (Spain)». En: Nutrición Hospitalaria 30.1, 165-172. Online:

Paredes, M. y col. (2019). «Assessing responsible food consumption in three Ecuadorian city regions». En: Sustainable Food System Assessment. Routledge. Online:

Paslakis, G., G. Dimitropoulos y G. Katzman (2020). «A call to action to address COVID-19 induced global food insecurity to prevent hunger, malnutrition, and eating pathology». En: Nutrition Reviews 79.1, 114-116. Online:

Racette, S. y col. (2005). «Weight Changes, Exercise, and Dietary Patterns During Freshman and Sophomore Years of College». En: Journal of American College Health 53.6, 245-251. Online:

Reed, J. y col. (2011). «Using “Point of Decision Messages to Intervene on College Students Eating Behaviors». En: American Journal of Health Promotion 25.5, 298-300. Online:

Sánchez, M. y col. (2018). «Evaluación del estado nutricional de adolescentes en una Unidad Educativa de Ecuador (Evaluation of the nutritional status of adolescents in an Educational Unit of Ecuador)». En: Ciencia Unemi 10.25, 1-12. Online:

Sogari, G. y col. (2018). «College Students and Eating Habits: A Study Using An Ecological Model for Healthy Behavior». En: Nutrients 10.12, 1823. Online:

Sproesser, G. y col. (2015). «I Eat Healthier Than You: Differences in Healthy and Unhealthy Food Choices for Oneself and for Others». En: Nutrients 7.6, 4638-4660. Online:

VanHeuvelen, T. y J. VanHeuvelen (2019). «The (Economic) Development of Healthy Eating Habits: Gender, nutrition, and health outcomes in 31 cou tries». En: Sociology of Development 5.1, 91-113. Online:

WHO (2014). Global Status Report of noncommunicable diseases 2014. Online:

WHO (2015). Health in 2015: from MDGs, Millennium Development Goals to SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals. Online: