Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
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Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2018, 6(11), 694-698
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-6-11-3
Open AccessArticle

Consumption Patterns of Dietary Supplements and Information Seeking Behaviors in the Youth an Exploratory Study

Younis Salmean1, and Dari Alhuwail2, 3

1Food Science and Nutrition Department, College of Life Sciences – Kuwait University, Kuwait

2Information Science Department, College of Computing Sciences & Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait

3Health Informatics Unit, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait

Pub. Date: December 06, 2018

Cite this paper:
Younis Salmean and Dari Alhuwail. Consumption Patterns of Dietary Supplements and Information Seeking Behaviors in the Youth an Exploratory Study. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2018; 6(11):694-698. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-6-11-3


The aim of this paper is to explore dietary supplements (DS) consumption patterns, sources of information about DS, and the impact of social media on DS knowledge among college students at Kuwait University. A cross-sectional self-administrated voluntary paper-based survey was distributed randomly to college students across all university campuses in December 2015. The questions focused on students’ DS use and their attitudes towards the Internet and social media platforms (SMP) as a source of information about DS. Overall, 432 students across all Kuwait University campuses completed the survey (response rate 84% – mean age 20.9 ±2.9). Results show that DS use among college students is high with only 24% females and 26% males stating to have never used DS. Differences between males and females exist when it comes to type of supplements they perceive to be beneficial, reasons for use, and sources of information. Similar percentage of males and females use the Internet as a source of information on dietary supplements. However, males appear to use non-health oriented sources, such as friends and gym coach, as primary source of DS information while females appear to prefer primary physicians and dietitians as a source. SMPs appear to serve as a significant source of information about dietary supplements. DS use among college age students is prevalent and the Internet and SMPs appear to serve as an important medium for information. Future studies should evaluate the usefulness of using SMPs by official health organizations to disseminate health and nutritional information.

nutrition supplements social media informatics information technology information systems information

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