Abstract Dietary practices of college students were described and examined according to the means by which they were admitted to the university (quota and non-quota students). A cross-sectional study was conducted with undergraduates (n = 1336) at a public university using a self-administered and identified questionnaire that inquired about their habits of eating breakfast and substituting lunch and/or dinner with snacks as well as the regular consumption (≥ 5 times a week) of markers for healthy and unhealthy eating. Analysis of the association between means of admission to the university and dietary practices was done using univariate and multivariate logistic regression models. It was observed that significant proportions of the students did not eat breakfast; substituted dinner with snacks; had low fruit, vegetable and bean consumption; and frequently consumed sugary beverages, sweets, cookies and packaged salty snacks. The quota students were found to more frequently consume beans, cookies and packaged salty snacks and less frequently substitute dinner with snacks and consume vegetables and fruits. Quota and non-quota students had some similarities in their dietary practices that were unhealthy. The differences observed between the two groups were largely more unfavorable for the quota students, with the exception of bean consumption.
Food consumption; Dietary habits; Students; Public policy