1Department of Nutrition, Ministry of Health and Education, Tehran, IR Iran
2Department of Nutrition, University of Putra Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3Food and Drug Organization, Ministry of Health and Education, Tehran, IR Iran
Background Good nutrition, a balanced diet and regular physical activity are foundations of good health. Research has found that dietary patterns change dramatically following the arrival of students in a foreign country. However, nutritional status of Iranian students studying oversea has never been investigated. Objectives The objective of this study was to determine factors associated with body weight status of Iranian postgraduate students in Universiti of Putra Malaysia (UPM). Materials and Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the body weight status of 210 Iranian postgraduate students aged between 22 and 55 years in University of Putra Malaysia. The associations between body weight status and socio demographics factors and also lifestyle factors (smoking and physical activity) were assessed. Anthropometric factors (height, weight, BMI and waist and hip circumferences) were measured. Chi-square, Spearman Rho and Pearson tests were used for data analysis. Results From a total of 210 postgraduate students 110 were females, and 100 males. No significant correlation was observed between smoking and BMI (P = 0.4). However, statistically significant correlations were observed between gender (P = 0.007), physical activity (P = 0.02), using protein (P = 0.005), carbohydrate (P = 0.002), fat (P = 0.001), fiber (P = 0.003), vitamin C (P = 0.04), calcium (P = 0.005), waist circumference (P = 0.02), hip circumference (P = 0.001), Waist to Hip Ratio (P = 0.002), and BMI. Conclusions The nutritional behavior of university students was poor. Therefore, it is essential to encourage young people, including university students to enrich their diets with milk, beans, fruit, and vegetables to decrease the risks of nutrition related disorders.