Analysis of public health students’ knowledge on health effects of thermoneutral, hot and cold water
- MOJ Public Health
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Water is a very important nutrient with numerous health effects when ingested or applied on the body in thermoneutral, hot or cold forms. These health effects are however often neglected in public health studies, leaving students to access majority of their information from mostly unregulated Internet sources.
Objective: To investigate the level of knowledge and sources of information of final year public health students on the health effects of thermoneutral, hot or cold water.
Materials and methods: Data were collected using structured self-administered questionnaire. Analysis was performed by simple calculations of percentages.
Results: The students’ main source of information, at up to 50% was leisure time Internet Googling with social media. The students’ highest score of 54% was on knowledge of water as a nutrient, a basic Biology, Health and Nutrition subject. The next high score was 49% on externalized use of water, an area very familiar with the students since they habitually indulged in cold water baths. 44% was recorded for water hydration while the lowest score of 24% was on health effects of ingested water/inhaled steam. The overall knowledge level on health effects of thermoneutral, cold or hot water was 43%.
Conclusion: Dependence on leisure time, i.e. unguided Googling and social media tends to corrupt health knowledge. Previous exposure through formal education, guided internet searches and personal experience enhance level of knowledge. There is serious need to guide students early in their careers on how to obtain authentic health information from the internet.
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