Document Type



Community Health Sciences


OBJECTIVE: To objectively compare the differences in knowledge and practices regarding healthy lifestyle among medical and non-medical students of Karachi along with assessment of any perceived barriers.METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 350 students between ages 17-24 years from 6 private universities of Karachi--three medical and three non-medical Institutions. A self-reported questionnaire was employed to assess attitude and barriers to healthy practices among the simple random selection of students.RESULTS: On a 10-point scale, the average knowledge score of students on general and clinical nutritional knowledge was 5.7 +/- 1.51 and 4.4 +/- 1.77, respectively and the difference was statistically significant (p < 0.01). Conversely the diet and lifestyle score (85-point scale) among medical (41.3) and non medical students (40.8) was not significant (p = 0.646). There was no difference between the perception of medical and non-medical students regarding 'work-related stress' in their life. 'Lack of time' was cited as the most important reason for skipping meals and as a barrier to exercising regularly among both groups.CONCLUSION: The knowledge, attitudes and practices of medical students in Karachi suggest that superior knowledge about healthy lifestyle does not necessarily result into better practices.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association