It is known that the promotion and acquisition of healthy attitudes is a key factor depending on the academic training provided by the university studies on which students are enrolled.The aim of the present research is to analyse and compare lifestyle habits and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) as a function of academic training.
A cross-sectional study with a volunteer convenience sample of 707 undergraduate participants aged (21.98 ± 3.50 years). Students were divided into four different groups according to their area of academic training. Socio-demographic variables, adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD), physical activity (PA) engagement and HRQoL were recorded.
PA and sport science students reported better scores in PA (6342.39 ± 2313.99 metabolic equivalents [METs]; P = 0.000), MD adherence (6.33 ± 2.69; P = 0.000) and HRQoL in physical and mental health (MH; 54.85 ± 9.18; 53.70 ± 13.6; P = 0.000). In contrast, non-health-related sciences (NHRS) students reported the lowest scores on assessed items. Students with a medium/high monthly salary reported better MD adherence (6.16 ± 3.07; P = 0.012). In addition, females reported better scores (6.41 ± 2.65; P = 0.000) than males. Further, males indicated better perceptions of MH (46.52 ± 18.84; P = 0.014). Moreover, university students with a high level of MD adherence were revealed to engage in more PA (5181.17 ± 2813.35 METs; P = 0.000) and have better HRQoL with regards to both physical (54.76 ± 8.84; P = 0.000) and MH (48.11 ± 16.73; P = 0.000).
Outcomes point to differences in MD adherence, PA and HRQoL according to academic training. NHRS students who did not know healthy habits reported lower scores for all studied items. This indicates the need for health interventions at universities.