Please enter verification code
Special Issues
Dietary Supplement Use among a Population of University Students in Italy: Correlations with BMI, Dietary Habits and Sport Activities
International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Volume 3, Issue 2, March 2014, Pages: 73-78
Received: Jan. 14, 2014; Published: Feb. 28, 2014
Views 4264      Downloads 172
Traversi Deborah, Department of Public Health and Paediatrics, Università di Torino UNITO, piazza Polonia 94, 10126, Turin, Italy
Gorrasi Ilaria, Department of Public Health and Paediatrics, Università di Torino UNITO, piazza Polonia 94, 10126, Turin, Italy
Galis Veronica, Department of Public Health and Paediatrics, Università di Torino UNITO, piazza Polonia 94, 10126, Turin, Italy
Biorci Felicina, Centro di Medicina Preventiva e dello Sport SUISM, Piazza Bernini 12, 10100 Turin, Italy
Siliquini Roberta, Department of Public Health and Paediatrics, Università di Torino UNITO, piazza Polonia 94, 10126, Turin, Italy
Gilli Giorgio, Department of Public Health and Paediatrics, Università di Torino UNITO, piazza Polonia 94, 10126, Turin, Italy
Article Tools
Follow on us
Attention to personal health and to healthy lifestyles has increased in recent decades among the population of industrialised countries. Various phenomena are linked to this change, such as the proliferation of fitness and wellness centres, the increased consumption of organic food and the extended use of dietary supplements. Food supplementation has become popular, as has the attention to the nutritional aspects of dietary behaviour. The use of dietary supplements is generally more common between people with higher socioeconomic status, healthier lifestyle habits, higher education level and lower body mass index (BMI), furthermore is more common in women than in men. In this study we aimed to investigate the prevalence of use of food supplements in a group of university students, correlating the use with indicators of healthy lifestyles generally associated with the consumption, such as BMI, dietary habits and sport activity. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire filled out by 145 voluntary students, attending the university in the city of Turin, North of Italy, belonging to areas of sport, biologic and medical sciences. The questionnaire included questions related to personal information, dietary attitudes and supplement consumption. 45.1% of the students reported the use of supplements. Vitamins/minerals and sport supplements were the most commonly consumed and were taken mainly to improve sport performance or to improve health. No relevant differences between supplement consumers and non consumers were seen in relation to healthy behaviours and to gender or anthropometric characteristics, except for a lower BMI in male supplement consumers and a higher consume of specific sport supplements in male with very intense sport activity.
Dietary Supplements, Consumption Survey, Dietary Behaviour, University Population
To cite this article
Traversi Deborah, Gorrasi Ilaria, Galis Veronica, Biorci Felicina, Siliquini Roberta, Gilli Giorgio, Dietary Supplement Use among a Population of University Students in Italy: Correlations with BMI, Dietary Habits and Sport Activities, International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2014, pp. 73-78. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnfs.20140302.19
Blendon RJ, DesRoches CM, Benson JM, Brodie M, Altman DE. Americans' views on the use and regulation of dietary supplements. Archives of Internal Medicine 2001;161: 805-810.
Flynn A, Hirvonen T, Mensink GB, Ocke MC, Serra-Majem L, Stos K, Szponar L, Tetens I, Turrini A, Fletcher R, Wildemann T. Intake of selected nutrients from foods, from fortification and from supplements in various European countries. Food Nutr Res 2009;53.
Gardiner P, Woods C, Kemper KJ. Dietary supplement use among health care professionals enrolled in an online curriculum on herbs and dietary supplements. BMC Complement Altern Med 2006;6: 21.
Gahce J, Bailey R, Burt V, Huges J, Yetley E, Dwyer J, Picciano MF, McDowell M, Semphos C, Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Dietary supplement use among U.S. adults has increased since NHANES III (1988-1994). NHCS Data Brief 2011.
Ock S, Hwang S, Lee J, Song C, Ock C. Dietary supplement use by South Korean adults: Data from the national complementary and alternative medicine use survey (NCAMUS) in 2006. Nutr Res Pract 2010;4: 69-74.
Federsalus. Nielsen survey. 2012.
Marques-Vidal P, Pecoud A, Hayoz D, Paccaud F, Mooser V, Waeber G, Vollenweider P. Prevalence and characteristics of vitamin or dietary supplement users in Lausanne, Switzerland: the CoLaus study. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009;63: 273-81.
Rovira MA GM, Castaner O, Covas MI, Schroeder H; REGICOR Investigators. Dietary Supplement Use and Health-Related Behaviors in a Mediterranean Population. J Nutr Educ Behav 2012;Epub ahead of print.
Skeie G, Braaten T, Hjartaker A, Lentjes M, Amiano P, Jakszyn P, Pala V, Palanca A, Niekerk EM, Verhagen H, Avloniti K, Psaltopoulou T, Niravong M, Touvier M, Nimptsch K, Haubrock J, Walker L, Spencer EA, Roswall N, Olsen A, Wallstrom P, Nilsson S, Casagrande C, Deharveng G, Hellstrom V, Boutron-Ruault MC, Tjonneland A, Joensen AM, Clavel-Chapelon F, Trichopoulou A, Martinez C, Rodriguez L, Frasca G, Sacerdote C, Peeters PHM, Linseisen J, Schienkiewitz A, Welch AA, Manjer J, Ferrari P, Riboli E, Bingham S, Engeset D, Lund E, Slimani N. Use of dietary supplements in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition calibration study. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009;63: S226-S238.
Nolan A. Audit of supplement use on care of the elderly and rehabilitation wards. J Hum Nutr Diet 1999;12: 453-458.
Richardson MA, Sanders T, Palmer JL, Greisinger A, Singletary SE. Complementary/alternative medicine use in a comprehensive cancer center and the implications for oncology. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2000;18: 2505-2514.
Heikkinen A, Alaranta A, Helenius I, Vasankari T. Dietary Supplementation Habits and Perceptions of Supplement Use Among Elite Finnish Athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2011;21: 271-279.
Greiner T. Vitamins and minerals for women: recent programs and intervention trials. Nutr Res Pract 5: 3-10.
Messerer M, Johansson SE, Wolk A. Sociodemographic and health behaviour factors among dietary supplement and natural remedy users. Eur J Clin Nutr 2001;55: 1104-10.
Rock CL. Multivitamin-multimineral supplements: who uses them? Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85: 277s-279s.
Block G, Jensen CD, Norkus EP, Dalvi TB, Wong LG, McManus JF, Hudes ML. Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study. Nutrition Journal 2007;6.
Bianco A, Mammina C, Paoli A, Bellafiore M, Battaglia G, Caramazza G, Palma A, Jemni M. Protein supplementation in strength and conditioning adepts: knowledge, dietary behavior and practice in Palermo, Italy. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2011;8.
Bui ST, Caine-Bish N, Ha EJ, Lowry-Gordon K. Protein and Creatine Supplementation Habits among University Students. J Nutr Educ Behav 2009;41: 38.
Olbrich dos Santos KM, de Azevedo Barros Filho A. Use of vitamin supplemets among university students in São Paulo, Brazil. Rev Saúde Pública 2002;36: 250-3.
Szczuko M, Seidler T. [Nutrition mode eavulation among University of Agriculture students in Szczecin in 2006. Part II. Consumption of enriched food and supplements]. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2009;60: 163-6.
Giammarioli S, Boniglia C, Carratu B, Ciarrocchi M, Chiarotti F, Sanzini E. Reliability of a Self-Administered Postal Questionnaire on the Use of Food Supplements in an Italian Adult Population. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2010;80: 394-407.
George GC, Springer AE, Forman MR, Hoelscher DM. Associations among Dietary Supplement Use and Dietary and Activity Behaviors by Sex and Race/Ethnicity in a Representative Multiethnic Sample of 11th-Grade Students in Texas. J Am Diet Assoc 2011;111: 385-393.
Hanekamp JC, Bast A. Food supplements and European regulation within a precautionary context: A critique and implications for nutritional, toxicological and regulatory consistency. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2007;47: 267-285.
Rossi F, Gaio E, Torriani S. Staphylococcus aureus and Zygosaccharomyces bailii as primary microbial contaminants of a spoiled herbal food supplement and evaluation of their survival during shelf life. Food Microbiology 2010;27: 356-362.
Stocker P, Rosner B, Werber D, Kirchner M, Reinecke A, al e. Outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo associated with a dietary food supplement flagged in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) in Germany, 2010. Eurosurveill 2011;16.
Baer I, Emteborg H, de la Calle B. Results from two interlaboratory comparisons on the measurement of trace element contents in food supplements - State of the art of control laboratories in Europe. Food Chemistry 2011;126: 1498-1504.
Plotan M, Elliott CT, Scippo ML, Muller M, Antignac JP, Malone E, Bovee TFH, Mitchell S, Connolly L. The application of reporter gene assays for the detection of endocrine disruptors in sport supplements. Anal Chim Acta 2011;700: 34-40.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186