Effects of Gender and Ethnicity on Fruits Consumption by Students in a Ghanaian Technical University Before and During COVID-19

Author(s): Liticia Effah-Manu, Genevieve Fremah Opoku, Desmond Ntim and Eric Asamoah

Fruits help reduce the risk of diseases and infections such as the Corona virus. This study sought to assess the differences in the consumption patterns of fruits among students before and during COVID-19. Structured questionnaire was used to gather information from two hundred and three (n=203) students. Descriptive statistical techniques, paired sample t-test and logistic regression models were used in the data analysis. Mango, banana, orange, grapes, apple, pineapple and coconut were the most consumed fruits before and during COVID-19. Male students were more likely to consume watermelon than female students in pre-COVID-19 period and during COVID-19 period (odds ratios respectively 2.009 and 1.403). Watermelon and coconut were more likely consumed by males while African star fruit and velvet tamarind were consumed mostly by females. Apart from the health benefits, family/friends was the main factor responsible for the choice of fruits. Ethnicity significantly affected the choices of fruits (p ≤ 0.05). The impact of family/friends on fruit consumption trend is enormous and is directly related to the ethnic groups of students. Policies and interventions must therefore be made towards household consumption of fruits.

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