Knowledge attitude and behavior towards dietary salt intake among Bangladeshi medical and nonmedical undergraduate students
Background: High dietary salt is intertwined with high blood pressure and can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Bangladeshi population is habituated with high salt intake including added salt use during meal which is also noticeable among doctors and faculties. Again, there was no any information among Bangladeshi medical and nonmedical students addressing this issue. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and behavior about dietary salt among Bangladeshi medical and nonmedical undergraduate students as well as also to compare findings. Methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted among 280 medical and nonmedical undergraduate students in Dhaka city with equal number of students from each group. Medical students were from MBBS and physiotherapy background, whereas nonmedical students were from business, law, engineering and pharmacy background recruited by purposive sampling technique for institutions and respondents both. Data were collected by face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire developed with the help of WHO Modified Salt Module of STEPS Questionnaire. Data were managed accordingly and analyzed by SPSS-21 in terms of both descriptive and comparative statistics. All of the ethical issues were maintained accordingly prior to collection of data from each respondents. Results: Men dominated in both groups (medical, 59.3% and nonmedical, 64.3%) and the mean age of the respondents was 22.0±2.0 and 21.8±1.9 years in medical and nonmedical group respectively. Medical students possessed more knowledge and showed more positive attitude towards dietary salt intake than the nonmedical students. There were significant differences between the groups regarding the perception on health effect of salt (p, 0.005) and importance of lowering salt (p, 0.040). Nonmedical students were significantly more habituated in practicing added salt (p, 0.001) and high salt contained processed food (p, 0.012) than the counterpart. Conclusion: Medical students had better knowledge, attitude and less practicing habit towards dietary salt. Yet, health education program is needed for both groups especially for the nonmedical group regarding to encourage less dietary salt practice.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The copyright for all articles belongs to the authors. All other copyright is held by the journal.