Consumption And Expenditure Patterns On Daily Meals Of Students Who Are Residing In Dormitories

Consumption And Expenditure Patterns On Daily Meals Of Students Who Are Residing In Dormitories

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A. Significance of the study
According to John Maynard Keynes, the discussion of consumption and expenditure are important to economics, environmentalism, geographical analysis, and many other fields. In this study, analyzing the food consumption and expenditure patterns of students away from home can be used for future implementation of university policies that would offer financial and other assistances for the students.
During 1998-1999, students in U.K. who are studying independently showed an upward shift in their expenditure pattern on food, bills, and other household expenses. This increase in the students’ expenditure is mostly because of inflation (Callender, 2000).
According to Callender (2000), 10% of these students said that they thought about dropping because of financial difficulties while three out of five students who are studying away from home thought that financial difficulties have negative effects on their studies. However, 86% of these students still believe that going to the university would benefit them financially in the long run
With this in mind, students will most likely to perform better in school if they can get some help regarding their financial difficulties. And since these students are away from their families, they resort in foods that are ready-to-eat and easy-to-cook meals which also add to their expenses and can have certain nutritional implication on them.
Palma (2002) said that more and more Filipinos eat less at home. Majority of these people includes working mothers, drivers, and students. According to her, five out of ten Filipinos eat at fast food chains, three to fine dining restaurants, and the rest to bakeshops and small food outlets or what are popularly known as carinderia. Fast foods became popular because it is very convenient for people who have many things to do and so little time to eat.
Hopefully, this study will help address the problem of many students on how to budget their allowances and provide inputs for possible university policies such as financial assistance, loans, and scholarships that will help these students survive with the meager allowances that their parents were able to give.
Also, since the intended population is the students who are living in dormitories, the researcher hopes that this study could help these students become aware of their food intake even though they are away from home. The study intends to help students know the nutritional implications of the food that they consume and help them make good decisions about the kinds of food they will spend their money with.

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B. Review of Related Literature
There are several studies done that involve consumption and expenditure patterns. Many of these studies focused on the spending and consumption patterns on food of families and countries. The researcher will try to include all the related information possible from the spending pattern of students on food to the kinds of foods they consume.

Spending on food
According to Dolan and Lindsey (1991), majority of a person’s income is spent on food. Since food is a necessity to all of us, consumption of food will always be present – and so as the expenditure since the two are interrelated.
The expenditure pattern of Filipinos on food has changed since 2006 especially those who belong in the bottom 30 percent income group. There has been a tremendous increase in the spending on food of Filipinos. It was found out that 59 percent of all expenditures were on food. This was a huge increase from 48 percent in 2006. This means that for every P100 spent by a Filipino, P59 was spent on food while in 2006, P48 only was spent on food. (Ericta, 2006)
In the U.K., students’ spending on essential items such as food increased by 5% for those who are living with their parents and 11% for those who are living away from home (Callender, 2000). Because of this increase in food expenditure, expenditure on other items such as entertainment, clothes, and travel decreased by 25% compared to last year.
Callender (2000) said that “for some students, their financial difficulties meant that they could not fully participate in their course or in university life or that they had to cut down on expenditure on other things.” For instance, some students who cannot manage to cut down their expenditure on food lessened their expenditure on clothes and entertainment. Those students who do not want to cut down their expenditure on books and other school materials had to cut down their expenses on food.
In the study of Palma (2002), when students cannot afford fast foods, they resort to eating breads for lunch or chips. For those students who are not monitored by their parents, they resort to eating anything that is easy to prepare and is not expensive.
According to Callender (2000), an independent student’s (those who are living away from home) expenditure is greater that the allowance or the money that they receive from their parents. Students who are living with their parents had the lowest expenditure because their parents subsidized their spending on food and board and lodging. Their spending amounted to an average of £5,166 while those students who are studying away from home have an average expenditure of £6,161, 66 percent of which was spent on food.
“In answer to questions about hardship, 10% of students living away from home said that they had thought about dropping out for financial reasons, whilst three in five of these students thought that financial difficulties had negatively affected their academic performance. Nevertheless, around 86% of these students agreed that, in the long term, they would benefit financially from going to university.” (Callender, 2000)
If this is the case in the U.K., it is not impossible that we also have these cases in the Philippines. Since U.K. is a first-world country, it is not possible for the Filipino students to have this kind of problem regarding their allowance and their expenses. We can also notice that there has been a tremendous increase in loan grants in the university primarily because of the tuition fee increase.

Consumption of food
Diets change as the time passes by since it can be influenced by many factors and complex interactions. The factors that affect diet are income, prices, individual preferences or beliefs, cultural traditions, and other geographical, social, and economic factors. These factors all interact in a complex manner to shape dietary consumption patterns (Drewnowski, 1997).
“Increasing urbanization will also have consequences for the dietary patterns and lifestyles of individuals, not all of which are positive. Changes in diets, patterns of work and leisure - often referred to as the “nutrition transition” - are already contributing to the causal factors underlying no communicable diseases even in the poorest countries. Moreover, the pace of these changes seems to be accelerating, especially in the low-income and middle-income countries.” (Drewnowski, 1997)
In Texas, U.S.A., a study by Nicklas (2006) showed that the percentage of students consuming and the mean gram consumed decreased for fats/oils, dessert, candy, milk, and egg. However, the percentage of students consuming, and the mean gram amount consumed increased for mixed meats, poultry, and cheese. There is also a significant decrease in the percentage consumed of vegetables and beef but the mean gram consumed did not change. The percentage consumed for bread and snacks did not change but the mean gram amount of salty snacks increased. The mean gram amount of lunch and dinner consumed increased.
“Results of the 1993 national nutrition survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-FNRI) showed that the diet of the average Filipino is mainly rice and fish with some vegetables. About 3/4 (74%) of the total food intake is from plant sources. Rice still plays a major role in the Filipino diet, contributing about 56.4% of total calorie intake, and about 40.8% of total protein intake.” (“How food (in)secure is the Philippines?”, 2005)
“The survey also showed a general decrease in food consumption. From 869 grams in 1987, the mean per capita daily consumption decreased to 803 grams in 1993. Between 1987 and 1993, a decrease in the intake of rice and products, starchy roots and tubers, fruits and vegetables, fats, fish, meat, and miscellaneous foods was noted. On the other hand, the consumption of poultry, corn and products, other cereal products and eggs increased during the same period. There has been no change in the consumption of milk and milk products, dried beans, nuts and seeds and green leafy and yellow vegetables during the same period.” (“How food (in)secure is the Philippines?”, 2005)
“Of the essential nutrients needed every day for nutritional health, only protein consumption of the average Filipino met the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). However, about half of the protein intake was accounted for by cereals whose protein content is of a lower biological value. This has significant implications among growing children since protein of high biological value (derived from animal sources) is needed to support growth.” (“How food (in)secure is the Philippines?”, 2005)
This study shows a relatively low level of caloric intake for Filipinos. With this information, it is alarming to know that there really is food insecurity in the country which has a great effect on the consumption patterns of Filipinos.
C. Objectives
• To be able to know the contribution of food to overall expenditure of UPLB students especially those who are away from home
• To know the kinds of foods UPLB students consume for their daily meals using their allowance
• To provide information for the students, especially those who are not aware about the foods they consume and the amount of money they spend for them
D. Date and Place
The survey will be conducted from July to September, 2008 in the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. The analysis of data will be done from October to December, 2008 at the College of Economics and Management, UPLB.
A. Materials
The research will use a survey research design in studying the consumption and expenditure patterns on daily meals of UPLB students. A questionnaire will be used as a research instrument. It will be written in English since the questions can be understood better in that way. This will include questions on their expenditure on daily meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and the kinds of food included in their meals (meat, vegetables, fruits, etc.). The questionnaire will also include the frequency of their consumption in each kind of food and the corresponding money they spend for the particular kind of food. The questionnaire is presented in multiple choice type.
B. Methods
The respondents of the study will be students of UPLB who are residing in dormitories. Simple random sampling method will be used by the researcher in selecting the respondents. Once the respondents were selected, questionnaires will be given either personally or through electronic mail. Percentages, frequency counts, and weighted mean will be used in analyzing the data.

Callender, C. & Kemp, M. (2000). Changing student finances: Income, expenditure and the take-up of student loans among full- and part-time higher education students in 1998/99. Retrieved February 10, 2008 from

Palma, A.C. (2002). An Update on the Philippine Fastfood Industry. Center for food and Agribusiness. University of Asia and the Pacific.

(2005). How food (in)secure is the Philippines?. Retrieved February 15, 2008 from

Callender, C. & Kemp, M. (2000). Changing student finances: Income, expenditure and the take-up of student loans among full- and part-time higher education students in 1998/99. Retrieved February 10, 2008 from

Dolan, E. & Lindsey, D. (1991). Income Expenditure. Economics. (6th ed., pp.222). Orlando, FL: The Dryden Press.

Drewnowski, A. & Popkin, B.M. The nutrition transition: new trends in the global diet. Nutrition Reviews, 1997, volume 55 (pp. 35-37).

Ericta, C. (2006). Change in spending pattern among Filipino families seen in 2006. retrieved February 15, 2008 from
Nicklas, T.A., (2006). Children's food consumption patterns have changed over two decades (1973-1994): The Bogalusa heart study. Retrieved February 14, 2008 from
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