ASSESSMENT OF DIETARY CALCIUM INTAKE AMONG FEMALE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Introduction: Calcium is an essential micronutrient that contributes to human well-being and its function is very pronounced for bone and teeth health. Inadequacy in calcium intake can increase susceptibility to metabolic bone fractures such as osteoporosis. Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the dietary calcium intake (DCI) among young female adults in IIUM Kuantan followed by identifying the strength of associated factors with amount of dietary calcium intake. Material and Methods: A total of 75 young female adults aged between 19 and 25 years old were recruited to assess their DCI using 3-days diet recall and Calcium Food Frequency Questionnaires. Two modified questionnaires were used to identify the associated factors such as personal, environmental, knowledge, attitudes and practices factors that affecting their DCI. Result: This study found that mean DCI among young female adults was 377.93 (±179.08) mg/day which was lower than the recommended value by RNI 2017. Pearson Correlation showed a fairly positive association between personal (r = 0.248, p = 0.032), attitudes (r = 0.386, p = 0.001) and practices (r = 0.354, p = 0.002; r = -0.418, p = 0.000) factors with the amount of DCI. Conclusion: This study has provided additional information about the inadequacy in dietary calcium intake among young female adults from previous studies, therefore interventions from various level of local health authorities is warranted.
KEYWORDS: Calcium, Osteoporosis, Young, Adults, Factors, Calcium, Intakes