Viji Krishnan1, Sharmila K2
Early sleep, early waking up, regular breakfast and light-to-moderate exercise all constitute healthy habits. Balanced diet, regular sleep and adequate physical activity are major factors in the promotion and maintenance of good health in human life. Regrettably these habits are not very frequent among medical students, because of exceptionally tiring schedule, protracted studies and burden of performing well in medical colleges. The study aims to correlate the trends in breakfast habits, mid-day snacking, sleeping habits and physical activity in relation to body mass index among medical students.
This was a single centre cross-sectional questionnaire based study conducted at Jubilee Mission Medical College & Research Institute, Thrissur, Kerala. The target population was 1st year MBBS students. We collected data from 234 students. The study duration was from August 2014 till September 2015. Convenient sampling was implied for the collection of data.
Mean age of participants was 20.85 ± 0.9 years, while mean BMI of participants was 24.7 ± 6.31 kg/m2. Average sleep duration was 7.1 hours ± 3.9 hours while average physical activity was 208 min/week ± 92 min/week. We observed that females (63.4%) tend to skip breakfast twice more than males (27.9%). Students who had regular breakfast were found to have a lower BMI than those who did not. Moreover, those who took breakfast were found to be more physically active than those who skipped breakfast.
Since it was found that a regular consumption of breakfast, adequate sleep and exercise not only lowers BMI but also makes a person more physically fit. Therefore, it is recommended to start the day with a healthy breakfast having all the essential nutrients.