Nutrition-related cancer prevention knowledge of undergraduate students at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria

  • Oluyemisi Folake Folasire University of Ibadan
  • Ayorinde Mobolanle Folasire University of Ibadan
  • Samuel Chukwudi Chikezie University of Ibadan
Keywords: Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Knowledge, Adolescents Health, Young Adult Health


Objective: This study assessed the nutrition-related cancer prevention knowledge and dietary pattern of undergraduate students. Design: A cross-sectional study design was employed. Setting: The University of Ibadan campus, Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria. Participants: A systematic random sampling of 367 undergraduate students was done. Method: A pretested self-administered questionnaire assessed the nutrition-related cancer prevention knowledge of the participants based on WCRF/AICR guidelines. A food frequency questionnaire was used to evaluate the dietary pattern. Weight, height, waist and hip circumferences, body mass index and waist:hip ratio were measured and computed based on standard procedures. Results: Less than half (49%) had good nutrition-related knowledge of cancer prevention. About 30.0-40.0% frequently consumed legumes/nuts, vegetables and fruits respectively. About 75.0% frequently consumed processed cereals and grains (white rice, white bread and noodles). Above 20.0% were overweight, while 3.8% were obese. Less than 75.0% had low risk of abdominal obesity while 25.5% had high risk of abdominal obesity. Nutrition knowledge of cancer prevention was associated with the frequency of consumption of processed cereals and grains (χ2 = 13.724; p = 0.000), legumes/nuts (χ2 = 17.268; p = 0.000), meat (χ2 = 22.972; p = 0.000), fish χ2 = 23.017; p = 0.000), pastry snacks (χ2 = 36.159; p = 0.000) and sugary drinks (χ2= 6.432; p = 0.011). There was no significant difference in knowledge of cancer prevention and the frequency of consumption of roots and tubers, milk, vegetables, and fruits. A higher risk of abdominal obesity was associated with infrequent consumption of legumes/nuts (χ2= 7.001, p = 0.008) in the males, and with vegetables (χ2 = 6.771, p = 0.009) and fruits (χ2 = 4.205, p = 0.040) intakes in the females. Conclusion: Nutrition-related knowledge of cancer prevention was low, and the respondents also had a poor dietary pattern. The high risk of abdominal obesity may be a pointer to the larger young adult population, emphasising a need for targeted intervention. (Full text available online at South Afr J Clin Nutr 2016; DOI: 10.1080/16070658.2016.1217648

Author Biographies

Oluyemisi Folake Folasire, University of Ibadan
Lecturer I and Consultant Physician Department of Human Nutrition College of Medicine University of Ibadan; and Department of Family Medicine University College Hospital Ibadan Nigeria West Africa
Ayorinde Mobolanle Folasire, University of Ibadan
Lecture I and Consultant Radiation Oncologist Department of Radiotherapy University of Ibadan Nigeria; and Department of Radiation Oncology University College Hospital Nigeria
Samuel Chukwudi Chikezie, University of Ibadan
Undergraduate student Department of Human Nutrition University of Ibadan Nigeria West Africa
How to Cite
Folasire, O., Folasire, A., & Chikezie, S. (2016). Nutrition-related cancer prevention knowledge of undergraduate students at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 29(4), 30. Retrieved from
Original Research