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FEM3002

Research Methodology
LECTURER:
Prof. Dr. RozumahBaharudin
DEMOSTRATOR:
Cik Amira NajihaYahya
GROUP MEMBERS:
NAME MATRIC NO.
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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction
This study is to study about the university students’ lifestyle and their eating habits which are
both equally important to the Malaysia’s university students. Hence, the respondents for this
study are students from three of the central region of the Malaysia local university namely
University Putra Malaysia (UPM), University Kebangsaan Malaysia, and University Malaya
that are related to the issues as mentioned above.

Background of the Study
The prevalence of obesity and overweight is quite high in the world population.
According to 2008 World Health Organization report, one billion of the world population is
overweight and an additional 300 million are obese. Changing eating habits can be responsible
for the rapid increase in these conditions, particularly among the young population. Due to the
era transformation of globalization, most of the people is living in a stressful environment and
adapting to different lifestyle, and often they eat as a way of dealing with this stressful lifestyle.
As with any major life experience, college or university is a critical period regarding
unhealthy changes in eating behaviors in students. Attending a university or college for the first
time can be a stressful experience for many new college students. Poor eating habits are a major
health concern among young adults who experience transition into university lifestyle, during
which they are exposed to stress and lack of time(Kurubaran et.al, 2012). In fact, one study that
evaluated the cardiovascular health needs of college students found that nearly 60 percent of the
students related their stress levels as high or very high (Gower, Hand, &Crooks, 2008).
The relationship between nutrition and stress can be intriguing, because usually wise food
choices are the last thing on our mind when we perceive stress. Nutritional deficiencies are rarely
the cause of the hectic lifestyle. Most college students may not achieve the nutrition and exercise
guidelines designed for a healthy and optimum lifestyle. Eating habits have been a major concern
among university students as a determinant of health status.
University students tend to make their own food choices based on cost of food and
availability of fast food. They lack knowledge of healthy food choices that may affect eating
habits and nutritional status negatively. Previous studies revealed that university students failed
to meet the recommended intakes of fruits and vegetables. University students had frequent
snacking habits and had a higher frequency of fast food consumption (Kurubaran et.al, 2012).
Living arrangement where the community settings also contribute to adoption of unhealthy
eating habits among university students. The mushrooming of shopping malls, convenience
stores, vending machines and fast food outlets have created an alarming situation for young
adults to practice unhealthy eating habits.When students have easy access to (on-campus) eating
facilities, they seem to get tempted more easily (Deliens et.al, 2014).
Hence, the present study is aimed at assessing the patterns of eating habit and its
associated factors due lifestyle practiced by the undergraduates.










1.2 Statement of Problem
 Research Question
In summary, the following research questions were addressed:
1. What are the levels of lifestyle practiced by the undergraduate students in the local
university in Malaysia?
2. Is there a relationship between university students’ lifestyle and their eating habits among
undergraduate students in the local university in Malaysia?
3. Are there differences in level of lifestyle practiced among the medical or non-medical
students that impact on their eating habits?
4. What are the lifestyle factors that uniquely influence the eating habits of the local
undergraduate students?









Dependent Variables
 Conceptual Framework
Title: Understanding the Relationship between the Undergraduate’ Lifestyle and their Eating Habits among
Universities.








Antecedent Variables
Independent Variables
Demographic factors of the University
Student
 Gender
 Year of study
 Mode of Residence
 Faculty

Undergraduates’ Lifestyle
 Social aspects: Type of
affiliations involve
 Academic aspect: Workloads
(assignment & project)
 Physical activity pattern
 Living arrangement
Eating Habits
1.3 Significant of study
This information is of particular importance to the undergraduate student
population and to university administrators because it may be a first step in determining
which lifestyle factors most impact the eating behavior and nutritional status of university
students. Such research could help inform intervention strategies to improve healthy
eating among university students on campuses on a national scale. It also can providing
info and insight concerning how student view their own eating habits caused by their
daily lifestyle in university and reveals significant opportunity for health improvement in
diet management, living pattern and physical activities.
Besides, study of the research can contribute dynamic analysis to public health
educators to create more targeted strategies for prevention or intervention due to better
understanding of factors of influence eating habits among students.










1.4 Research Objectives
General
The study aims to identify the relationship between the lifestyle of undergraduate student
and their eating habits.
Specific
a. To describe the demographic factors (gender, year of study, residence mode and
faculty) of undergraduates.
b. To describe the undergraduates’ university lifestyle.
c. To describe the undergraduates’ eating habits.
d. To determine the relationship between undergraduates’ demographic factors
(gender, year of study, residence mode and faculty) and their lifestyle.
e. To compare difference in eating habits across undergraduates’ demographic
factors among undergraduates of Medical faculty and Non-medical faculties.
f. To determine what aspect of lifestyle most affect undergraduates’ lifestyle.
g. To determine what aspect of lifestyle most affect undergraduates’ eating habits.






1.5 Research Hypothesis
Objective (d): To determine the relationship between undergraduates’
demographic factors (gender, year of study, residence mode
and faculty) and their lifestyle.
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between undergraduates’ lifestyle and
their eating habits among universities.
Not stating actual location, okay?
Objective (e): To compare difference in eating habits across undergraduates’
demographic factors among undergraduates of Medical faculty
and Non-medical faculty.
Ho2: There is no significant differences in demographic factors between
undergraduates of Medical faculty and undergraduates of Non-medical
faculties.
H03: There is no significant differences in eating habits between undergraduates
of Medical faculty and undergraduates of Non-medical faculties.
Objective (f): To determine what aspect of lifestyle most affect
undergraduates’ lifestyle.
Ho4: The regression coefficient for lifestyle
Objective (g): To determine what aspect of lifestyle most affect
undergraduates’ eating habits.
Ho5: The regression coefficient for lifestyle equals to zero when regressed
against undergraduates’ eating habits among undergraduates of Medical
faculty and undergraduates’ of Non-medical faculties.















1.6 Terminology of Definition
Terminology is included in our study which must be defined conceptually and
operationally. Below are the terms of this study.
Demographic Factors
Conceptual definition: The demographic factors defined as a range of choices
available to the individual which are function of education,
relationships, socialization, personality, physical and
mental ability, situational factors and goals, financial and
other material resources in a population (Oygard and
Anderssen, 1998).
Operational definition: Data were collected from the sample through a
questionnaire designed by the researchers titled
Demographic Factors and Students Lifestyle Questionnaire
(DFSLSQ). The data collected were analysed with the use
of simple percentage, frequency count, ranking means and
student t-test statistics. (Shehu et al., 2010)

Undergraduates’ Lifestyle
Conceptual definition: The way in which anundergraduate student lives.
Operational definition: Two independent Likert scale lifestyle factor variables 1)
how students get to campus, and 2) reported physical
activity level, were statistically analysed using one-way
ANOVAs, while a third independent variable, living
arrangement, was analysed using a bivariate t-test. These
were examined in relation to the dependent eating
behaviour variables. (Rebecca, Tanya, & Michael, 2009).
Eating Habits
Conceptual definition: The way a person or group eats, considered in terms of
what types of food are eaten, in what quantities, and when.
Operational definition: Compulsive Eating Scale (CES) that was used to measure
uncontrolled eating patterns among college students. To
check for the validity of the Compulsive Eating Scale (CES)
among the Malaysian population, an exploratory factor
analysis was performed using principal component method
with varimax rotation and Cronbach’s alpha was used to
test the internal consistency of the scale. Each item of
eating habits was scored (1) if the response was healthy or
(0) if non healthy. All items were summed and the total
score was obtained (minimum = 0 and maximum = 10).
Thus, a higher score on eating habits indicated better eating
habits. (Ganasegeranet al, 2012)









1.7 Research Limitation
The current study focuses on how undergraduates’ lifestyles affect their eating
habits across universities. Further study may include other potential variables such as
health status, to have a bigger picture on eating habits that might be pertinent to explore
but is not the scope of the present study.
There are a few limitations of this study that should be concerned. First, the
respondents for this study are undergraduate students whom arevaries from first year to
final year. The lifestyle of a first year and final year undergraduates might be very
different in term of workload, level of stress and etc. The maturity in answering the
questionnaire is hardly measured and hence might bring effect to our study.
Second limitation is the location of this study which only focuses in University
Putra Malaysia, University Kebangsaan Malaysia and University Malaya which are all
local universities. Therefore, the result of this study might not be applicable for the
private universities.
Lastly, the honesty of respondents should take into considerations in this study as
itmight influence the results of this study whether it is true or bias. We should assume
and trustthat the respondents answered the questionnaire honestly.








CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Review of IV- Lifestyle of university students
The study ofWang, Xing, & Wu (2013)has stated that sedentary lifestyle is a
common and serious problem among university students. Compared to young adults in
general, the pressure of work is so severe for university students that much of their time
and energy is likely to be occupied with their studies. The study also similar as what
mentioned by Deliens, Clarys, Bourdeaudhuij, &Deforche (2014).Students in the current
study believed they are continuously challenged by competing demands, including
academic responsibilities and involvement in extracurricular and social activities.
Adaramaja, Adenubi, Alabi, Adeola, &Olanrewaju (2010) have indicated lifestyle
is generally considered a personal issue. The concept of lifestyle has been proposed as a
bridge between individual and his immediate environment, reference is then made to
healthy and unhealthy lifestyle. Students of higher institution engage in a number of
lifestyle factors occasioned by their new social environment.

2.2 Factors of Lifestyle among university students
 Gender
The study of Adaramaja et al. (2010) has shown significant difference in lifestyles of
students of tertiary institutions in Kwara State based on gender. These findings may be
related to the fact that adolescent males take higher risk compare to their female
counterparts. Research of Wang et al. (2013)reported that female students display an
overall healthier profile, It was determined in this study that female students were more
likely to take a regular behavior, nutrition behavior and health responsibility, and showed
more confidence than male students in the social support dimension. Male students
exercise more frequently and manage their stress better than female students but more
likely to take a health risk behavior than female students.
 Mode of residence
Study of Adaramaja et al. (2010) indicated a significant difference in the lifestyles of
students of tertiary institution in Kwara State based on mode of residence. The off-
campus students were more involved in the unhealthy lifestyles than the on-campus
students. This study may be connected to the restricted life on campus. Students on
campus are governed by institutional rules and regulations while off campus students live
a free life after leaving the school premises. The respondents used for this study
submitted that alcohol consumption and wearing of obnoxious dresses are common
among the off campus students as compared to their counterparts living on campus
governed with rules and regulations. It is therefore true that one’s place of abode is a
significant factor in the determination of adopted lifestyle factors (excessive eating,
indiscriminate sexual practices, use of mobile phones, dressing, anxiety and stress,
alcoholism, drug abuse, sedentary lifestyle and smoking).
 Year of study
In terms of exercise behavior, regular behavior, health responsibility, social support,
stress management, and life appreciation, study had revealed that junior students were far
more capable than senior students, which may be because the senior students are engaged
in coping with increasing workload and employment stress and had less enthusiasm for
university life owing to a longer time of sensitization. (Wang et al., 2013)
 Faculty
In all aspects of healthy lifestyle, Wang et al. (2013) have reported the university
students in the medical university are better than students in the three-year college and
comprehensive university, which may be because training of medical curriculums make
the medical students pay more attention to adopt healthy lifestyle.


2.3 Review of DV- university students’ eating habits
Poor eating habit is a major public health concern among young adults who
experienced transition into university life. Eating habits have been a major concern
among university students as a determinant of health status.(Ganasegeranet al,
2012).Most of us live in a stressful environment, and we often eat as a way of dealing
with stress or as a way to calm ourselves.As young adults move into an independent
living situation, there is a high risk for unhealthy eating habits. This is the time period
when young adults begin to cement their eating habits (Gower, Hand, & Crooks, 2008).
In their study, Gower et al. (2008) also hypothesized that as stress increases in student’s
lives; their desire to overeat also would increase.provide evidence that many students in
our sample are neither consuming adequate fruits and vegetables nor limiting their
consumption of fried and fast foods to appropriate levels.

2.4 Factors of university students’ eating habits
 Gender
Few studies had support that different eating habits exists based on gender. Research
of Stapleton and Brunetti (2013) revealed there are gender differences in somatisation,
depression, anxiety and eating habits. It was predicted that females would self
reportbetter eating habits than males. Rebecca, Tanya, & Michael (2009) have shown
similar results that males had significantly greater consumption of alcohol and water,
lunch purchases on campus and money spent on campus for foodwhich suggests that they
have poorer eating behaviours than that of females. The study of Gower et al. (2008) has
found also which men will tend to eat more under stress. They concluded that female
students may find it easier to communicate with members of their community as a means
of coping with stress than male students do. Women may tend to turn to their friendships
and staff for support during stressful situations, while men may turn to non-relational
coping strategies, such as food consumption.
 Year of study
Findings of Racette, Deusinger, Strube, Highstein, &Deusinger (2005) reported that a
potentially significant weight gain (~9 lb) in 70% of the students during the first 2 years
of college and also highlight the inactivity and unhealthy dietary behaviors that
characterize many students during their early college years. Unhealthy eating patterns
appeared to be common among students during the first 2 years of college.
 Mode of residence
Rebecca et al. (2009) indicated lifestyle factors such as where one resides in relation
to campus and their living arrangements are rarely considered as influencing factors to
the eating behaviours of students on campus.
 Faculty
Cross sectional study of Ganasegeran et al. (2012) noted that most of the medical
students had healthy eating habits except in frequency of meals, fruit consumption, water
intake and consumption of fried food. Majority of medical students were aware of this
health risk.

2.5 Relationship between lifestyle and eating habits of university
students.
Few studies for the recent years have established noteworthy relationships
between the lifestyle factors and eating behaviours of university students on campus. For
example, Rebecca et al. (2009) have found that those individuals who reported to be
highly active most days of the week consumed significantly less fast food than those who
reported that they rarely or never participated in physical activity. The statement have
been supported with study of Adaramaja et al.(2010) which reported that the
popularization of computers and the Internet may provide more choices of entertainment
and reduce interest in exercise. Lack of exercise facilities is also a major reason why
university students do not participate actively in exercise and caused a high percentage of
university students do not exhibit healthy lifestyles.
Besides,the result study of Gower et al. (2008) has implied that the more stress or
apprehension a person feels in certain situations, the more likely they are to overeat or
emotionally eat. Deliens et al. (2014) have stated the similar conclusion which
relationships between determinants and university students’ eating behaviour seemed to
be moderated by university characteristics, such as residency, student societies, university
lifestyle and exams.


2.6 Summary
In summary, with the paradigm shift towards industrialization and cultural change
globally, information on healthy diet has become scarce in many developing and
developed nations. The most vulnerable group, being university students, have adopted
unhealthy eating behaviors due to reduced availability, affordability and accessibility of
healthy diet in university campuses and surrounding food outlets. Understanding the
contexts of such multi-factorial causes may help healthy food promotional activities by
parents, university authorities, food providers and health promotion officers
(Ganasegeranet al., 2012).As what mentioned by Deliens et al. (2014), after the transition
from secondary school to university, when independency increases, students are
continuously challenged to make healthful food choices.



CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Designs
The quantitative research approach is employed by current study in order to study
the characteristics of the population. Besides, the descriptive correlation research design
is also used to determine the relationship between variables. In addition, this study is
cross-sectional in nature which involves collecting data over a short period of time in
order to answer the addressed researched questions. A tool for data collection, survey
method with self-administrated questionnaire will be also used in this study. In general,
this study will examine university students’ lifestyle which will affect the eating habits of
undergraduates.


3.2 Study location
The study is conducted in three local universities which are the University Putra
Malaysia, University Kebangsaan Malaysia and University Malaya. These universities
are selected because there are the top three local universities which located in urban
agglomeration around Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Populations from other universities
particularly from rural areas most probably have much lower level of awareness due to
limited access and low level of nutritional and healthy eating knowledge (Sharkawiet al.,
2014).
This study highlights the presence of unhealthy eating behaviours, inadequate
nutrient intake, and a high prevalence of underweight among university students (Gan et
al., 2011) if compared to secondary school students.After the transition from secondary
school to university, when independency increases, students are continuously challenged
to make healthful food choices (Delienset al., 2014).
It is found that there are also a few studies which support sufficient evident for
this topic. Hence, this study is worth carrying out as undergraduate students will know
the effect of lifestyle towards healthy eating habits and able to find ways to curb this
problem.

3.3 Population and Sample Selection
The population of undergraduates which comprises first year to final year in
University Putra Malaysia, University Kebangsaan Malaysia and University Malaya are
respectively 19,481, 19,371 and 19,390.Since the population of the study is known, the
size of the sample will be determined by using the formula shown as follow:
University Putra Malaysia




2
) ( 1 e N
N
n


, 400 952 . 391
) 05 . 0 ( 19481 1
19481
2
 

 n
n= Sample size
N= Population size
e= Confidence interval, e = 0.05



University Kebangsaan Malaysia

University Malaya

Hence, summing up the sample population for these three universities, it is about
1200 sample respondents will be selected for this study. The simple random method was
used to select 200 respondents from Medicine faculty and 200 respondents from Non-
medicine faculties across these three universities. Among the 200 respondents, 100 males
and 100 females are randomly selected across each Medical and Non-medical faculties.
By using multistage cluster random sampling, different courses were randomly selected
among Medical and Non-medical faculties across these three universities. Multistage
cluster random sampling technique was used in this research because each of these group
study in different levels, courses and orientation, offering the researcher a variety of
perspective from different respondents.

2
) ( 1 e N
N
n


, 400 915 . 391
) 05 . 0 ( 19390 1
19390
2
 

 n
n= Sample size
N= Population size
e= Confidence interval, e = 0.05

2
) ( 1 e N
N
n


, 400 907 . 391
) 05 . 0 ( 19371 1
19371
2
 

 n
n= Sample size
N= Population size
e= Confidence interval, e = 0.05

3.4 Instrumentation
Two instruments will be administered to collect the research data. The first instrument is
Demographic Factors and Students Lifestyle Questionnaire (DFSLQ). The second
instrument is Compulsive Eating Scale (CES) will be used to measure uncontrolled eating
patterns among college students (Kagan & Squires, 1984).
3.5 Data Collection
For this research, the data will be collected by using questionnaire. For the
convenience of approaching our respondents whom consist of university’s students, we
will choose 400 respondents each from University Putra Malaysia, University Malaya,
and University Kebangsaan Malaysia respectively. Every respondents participated will be
provided a written consent written in Bahasa Malaysia or English to present the purpose
and the content of the survey conducted. All questions will be provided definitions above
the question to ensure clarification. Confidentiality and anatomy of the respondents are
concerned and noted. Then the questionnaires will be distributed to the respondents in
those accessible populations around the main campus in each university.
There are two sections included in the questionnaire: (A) Demographic Factors
and Students Lifestyle Questionnaire (DFSLQ) and (B) Compulsive Eating Scale (CES).
For part A, the respondents have to provide their personal information from the
demographic aspect such as gender, year of study, mode of residence, and faculty.
Besides, the respondents will be answering questions on lifestyle factor variables such as
how students get to campus, reported physical activity level and living arrangement and
so on. For part B, questions on eating habits such as money spent on campus for food
(RM) per day; frequency breakfast is bought on campus in a week; frequency lunch is
bought on campus in a week; frequency supper is bought on campus in a week; number
of times fast food is consumed in a week; number of times one packs a lunch during the
week; number of servings of caffeine per day; number of servings of water per day; and
the number of servings of alcohol per week. Serving guidelines were provided following
all questions.
The questionnaire will be distributed among students of the medical and non-
medical faculty around the main campus. The questionnaire will be collected upon
completion for this study.
3.6 Data Analysis
Statistical Package of the Social Science (SPSS –Version 20) will be used for data
analysis on this study. The data will be analyzed by grouping the variables into lifestyle
factors and eating habits. Data collected from the sample of Demographic Factors and
Students’ Lifestyle Questionnaire (DFSLSQ) will be analyzed with the use of simple
percentage, frequency count, ranking means and student t-test statistics (Shehu et al.,
2010). Two independent Likert scale lifestyle factor variables 1) how students get to
campus, and 2) reported physical activity level were statistically analyzed using one-way
ANOVAs, while a third independent variable, living arrangement, was analysed using a
bivariate t-test. These were examined in relation to the dependent eating behaviour
variables (Rebecca, Tanya, & Michael, 2009). The data of the Compulsive Eating Scale (CES)
will be validate through an exploratory factor analysis using principal component method with
varimax rotation and Cronbach’s alpha was used to test the internal consistency of the scale. Each
item of eating habits was scored (1) if the response was healthy or (0) if non healthy. All
items were summed and the total score was obtained (minimum = 0 and maximum = 10).
Thus, a higher score on eating habits indicated better eating habits (Ganasegeran et.al,
2012). All statistical tests were conducted using SPSS statistical analysis software (v. 20.0).
Differences were considered significant at p < .05. All data are means [+ or -] standard deviation
unless otherwise noted.
3.7 Reference
1) Jackson, Rebecca, A., Berry, Tanya, R., Kennedy, & Michael, D. (2009). The
relationship between lifestyle and campus eating behaviours in male and female
university students. College Student Journal, 43(3). Retrieved from
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/College-Student-
Journal/206687080.html
2) Wang, D., Xing, X., & Wu, X. (2013). Healthy lifestyle of university students in
China and influential factors. The Scientific World Journal, 2013, 10 pages.
doi:10.1155/2013/412950
3) Gunes, F.E., Bekiroglu, N., Imeryuz, N., & Agirbasli, M. (2012). Relation
between eating habits and a high body mass index among freshman students: a
cross-sectional study. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 31(2), 167-
174.
4) Adaramaja, S.R., Adenubi, O.S., Alabi, Y.L., Adeola, O.E., & Olanrewaju, O.S.
(2010). Influence of demographic factors on the lifestyles of tertiary institutions
students in Kwara State, Nigeria: educational media and counselling interventions.
Research Journal of Applied Science, 5(2), 73-77. doi: 10.3923/rjasci.2010.73.77
5) Gower, B., Hand, C.E., & Crooks, Z.K. (2012). The relationship between stress
and eating in college-aged students. Undergraduate Research Community Journal,
7. Retrieved from http://www.kon.org/urc/v7/crooks.html
6) Stapleton, P. & Brunetti, M. (2013). The effects of somatisation, depression, and
anxiety on eating habits among university students. The International Journal of
Healing and Caring, 13(3). Retrieved from
http://www.wholistichealingresearch.com/133stapletonbrunetti.html
7) Ganasegeran, K., Al-Dubai, S.A, Qureshi, A.M., Al-abed, A.A., AM, R., &
Aljunid, S.M. (2012). Social and psychological factors affecting eating habits
among university students in a Malaysian medical school: a cross-sectional study.
Nutrition Journal, 11(48). doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-48
8) Deliens, T., Clarys, P., Bourdeaudhuij, I.D., & Deforche, B. (2014). Determinants
of eating behaviour in university students: a qualitative study using focus group
discussions. BMC Public Health Journal, 14(53). doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-53
9) Racette, SB., Deusinger, SS., Strube, MJ., Highstein, GR., & Deusinger, RH.
(2005). Weight changes, exercise, and dietary patterns during freshman and
sophomore years of college. J Am Coll Health, 53(6), 245-251.