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.


Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association