Nursing Students' Eating Habits, Subjective, and Mediterranean Nutrition Knowledge During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Background: Mediterranean nutrition knowledge, healthy eating habits, and subjective nutritional knowledge are crucially important to nursing students’ health. The study strives to examine, during the COVID-19 pandemic period: (a) nursing students' eating habits and their subjective nutritional knowledge according to three groups: novice, advanced, and senior; and (b) subjective knowledge and its role as a mediator between Mediterranean nutritional knowledge and nursing students’ eating habits. Methods: A cross-sectional study design with a convenience sample consisting of 212 university nursing students. Participants volunteered to complete a questionnaire that examined their eating habits, subjective nutritional knowledge, and Mediterranean diet knowledge. The university's institutional review board provided permission to conduct the current study. Results: Nursing students from the novice group had better eating habits than the advanced and senior groups, and no significant differences were found between the advanced and senior groups regarding eating habits. Additionally, Mediterranean nutritional knowledge had a positive indirect effect on eating habits through subjective nutritional knowledge. Therefore, subjective nutritional knowledge partially mediated the relationship between Mediterranean nutritional knowledge and eating habits. Conclusion: First, especially for the advanced and senior groups, it is important to create opportunities for learning via seminars, symposia, and webinars. Interprofessional teams, such as clinical nutritionists or a registered certified dietitian and nursing student, can engage with important, authentic information. Second, since subjective nutritional knowledge was found to be a partial mediator, it may be assumed that there are other mediating variables that we did not examine in this study. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct further research to examine other factors that can serve as mediators for eating habits, in addition to subjective knowledge, especially during COVID-19 times.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open Nursing
StatePublished - 14 Sep 2021


  • eating habits
  • nursing students
  • nutrition


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