The objective of this study was to identify the relationship between the frequency of eating side dishes and lifestyle, eating habits, and health, and to gather materials to plan for the implementation of healthy lifestyles and eating habits in university students. In this study, we conducted a questionnaire of 665 university students in Hiroshima Prefecture, using 581 of them for analysis.
Regarding side dish intake frequency, 34.6％ of men were in the high frequency group, and
65.4％ in the low frequency group; women’s groups were 41.8％ and 58.2％ , respectively.
Compared with the low frequency group, the men’s high frequency group showed a significantly lower percentage of members who lose their patience, feel unenergetic, and have no will to do things; for the women, there was a significantly lower percentage of people who yawn. Furthermore, for both men and women, the high frequency groups had a significantly higher proportion of nonsmokers; for men, there was a significantly higher proportion of people who sleep well, exercise once or more every two to three days, and have a well-regulated lifestyle. For both men and women, there was a significantly higher proportion of people who eat breakfast and lunch every day, who eat at set times every day, who think about nutritional balance, who think their own eating habits are good, who eat dishes with items from nearly all food groups at every meal or over the course of every day, and who want to have good eating habits.
Given the above, we believe that side dish intake frequency has an effect on health, that the intake of side dishes can be an indicator for the quality of eating habits, and that the quality of eating habits is related to lifestyle and health. For this reason, food education and practice are important for increasing side dish intake. Furthermore, we must consider the potential of various practices for creating a posi tive food environment, such as offering food-related lectures and cooking classes, and displaying nutritional information on menus in university cafeterias.