Food Choice Motives among the Students of a Dental Institution in Mysore City, India

Author(s): Sushma R, Vanamala N, Nagabhushana D, Maurya M, Sunitha S, Reddy C

Background: In pursuit of a more “holistic” dentistry and an increasing focus on promoting oral health, dental students are increasingly being trained to take a more active part in health promotion and education. In particular, this incorporates an emphasis on diet and educating people to eat in more healthy ways. Aim: This paper works from the premise that if dental students are to engage in oral health promotion, they will do so more effectively if they have first explored their own food choice motivations. Subjects and Methods: A descriptive, cross‑sectional questionnaire study. The food choice questionnaire (FCQ) was distributed to a comparative group of 1st and 5th year dental students in timetabled lecture slots. The FCQ is a previously validated measure designed to assess ten main factors relevant to peoples” food choices. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 18.0 (Chicago, IL, USA) using descriptive statistics and independent sample t‑test. Results: Nearly 77% (122/159) students responded. Findings were analyzed using independent sample t‑test. Results indicated statistically significant differences in terms of food choice motivations between male and female students of 1st and 5th year. Conclusion: Awareness and an understanding of the differences in motivational factors affecting food choice between dental students is important as they are increasingly taught to play an active role in oral health promotion

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