Behavioral risk factors are responsible for a substantial portion of chronic disease. Educating patients is a professional responsibility of medical practitioners. However, it has been observed that physicians did not practice what they preach. To study whether medical colleges inculcate health-promoting lifestyle among medical students during their stay in medical colleges.
A cross-sectional study conducted in two conveniently selected medical colleges in southern India. Fourth year MBBS students were included in the study. A pre-tested self-administered multiple choice type questionnaire was used to collect data. Information was sought on the behavioral factors, namely smoking, alcohol use, junk food consumption, and physical activity, before joining the medical college and at the time of the study. SPSS version 10.0 was used to analyze the data. Frequencies, proportions, chi-square test.
Out of 176 respondents, 94 (53%) were males and 82 (47%) were females. The number of smokers had increased from 24 (13.6%) to 46 (26.1%) and the number of alcohol consumers from 34 (19.3%) to 77 (43.8%) since they joined medical college. The number of students doing any physical activity declined from 76 (43.2%) to 43 (24.4%) and their food habits became unhealthier during the same period.