The research was conducted to identify the different level of nutritional status of English academic purposes III students, respectively home country compared to Australia.
Participants were contingently chosen at a pre-university college in Westmead so as to complete a questionnaire about eating habits, food intake and some changes after coming Australia.
Results showed that international students may have undernutrition in Australia compared to their home country.
The results suggest that it should have more studies which can educate overseas students about what healthy eating is, how to cope with different food and dietary environment.
Nutrition is defined as the processes that people eat animals or plants and absorb food substances. During the past 30 years, the nutritional status of human has an important role in socio economic development of the country. Moreover, it is being increasingly emphasized as a human right. There were 487,458 international students in Australia. The government makes a good profit on their fee every year. Therefore, the nutrition of international students should be considered carefully.
Previous research by Perez-Cueto, Verbeke, Lachat and Remaut-De Winter (2009) discovered the nutritional status of students in Kocaeli, Turkey did not good enough to their health while Pan, Dixon, Himburg and Huffman (1999) found that overseas students tend to have less meals per day and eat more American-fast foods which lead to bad eating patterns. Moreover, Lyu, et al (2009) claimed that after coming a new country, most immigrants had undernutrition.
Although much work has been done to date, most of the work has been done in United State and Asia. Very little has work has been done for in Australia, and no study has focused on the nutritional status of international students.
The purpose of this research was to identify the changes of nutrition by overseas students in Australia. The hypothesis was that the nutritional status of international students in Australia is lower than in their home country.
The research was performed into nutritional status of international students in Australia on December 6th, 2012. 50 English Acadamic Purposes III students were contingently chosen at UWS college in Westmead campus. There were 50 subjects who are Asian and aged from 18 to 30. Most subjects are female (32), and the remainder is male.
The research instrument was a questionnaire which included three items with 14 questions. The first item comprised demographic questions. The second item was used attribute questions to determine the differences of international students’ eating habit in home country and in Australia. The last item was about changes related to subjects’ nutritional status after they came to Australia.
A group of three researchers discussed together to design questions. A draft questionnaire was established and formatted by using computer. Next, it was piloted by teacher and other groups, and then was made a few alterations.
The questionnaire was distributed to the subjects at West mead campus. Each respondent had to tick one box only for each question when they answered the two page questionnaire. The type of all 15 questions are multiple choice; therefore, it is easy for researchers to assemble the accurate data.
After two hours, all the questionnaires were collected to get the data. The data was converted to percentage and analysed by graphs.
In the questionnaire, five questions in the first part are demographic questions. Gender was evenly divived into 18 males and 32 females. 56% of students are from 18 to 25 years old, 32% of students are between 26 and 30 years old, while 2% were under 18 years old, and lastly 8% over 30 years old. Most students were from Asia (90%), and the remainder were from Europe (2%) and Middle-East (8%). The percentage of students who have been living in Australia for less than 1 month, from 1 to 5 months,