Knowledge and practice of healthy lifestyle and dietary habits in medical and non-medical students of Karachi, Pakistan

Rubina A. Sajwani, Sana Shoukat, Rushna Raza, Muhammad Muhyeuddin Shiekh, Quratulain Rashid, Momin Saulat Siddique, Sukaina Panju, Hasan Raza, Sophia Chaudhry, Masood Kadir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To objectively compare the differences in knowledge and practices regarding healthy lifestyle among medical and non-medical students of Karachi along with assessment of any perceived barriers. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 350 students between ages 17-24 years from 6 private universities of Karachi - three medical and three non-medical Institutions. A self-reported questionnaire was employed to assess attitude and barriers to healthy practices among the simple random selection of students. Results: On a 10-point scale, the average knowledge score of students on general and clinical nutritional knowledge was 5.7 ± 1.51 and 4.4 ± 1.77, respectively and the difference was statistically significant (p<0.01). Conversely the diet and lifestyle score (85- point scale) among medical (41.3) and non medical students (40.8) was not significant (p =0.646). There was no difference between the perception of medical and non-medical students regarding 'work-related stress' in their life. 'Lack of time' was cited as the most important reason for skipping meals and as a barrier to exercising regularly among both groups. Conclusion: The knowledge, attitudes and practices of medical students in Karachi suggest that superior knowledge about healthy lifestyle does not necessarily result into better practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-655
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009
Externally publishedYes


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