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Food neophobia, described as a reluctance to eat and or avoid new food, is a personality trait that affects food choice. Despite its potential influence on an individual's food intake, food neophobia has been poorly investigated in Bangladesh. This cross-sectional study was designed to evaluate food neophobia and its association with sociodemographic factors and food preferences in a sample of Bangladeshi university students. Five hundred students from five public universities completed the structured surveys. Food neophobia was assessed by a 10-item validated food neophobia scale with some minor modifications based on study settings. A multiple linear regression model was used to observe the factors associated with food neophobia. The mean food neophobia score among study participants was 37.45 (SD: 13.39, Range: 13-67). According to the adjusted statistical model, being female (regression coefficient, β = 2.73), having higher monthly family income (β = -6.64), being underweight (β = 4.68), being overweight (β = -4.63), having any food allergy (β = 9.09), and a history of sickness after eating a new food item (β = 5.16) were significantly associated with food neophobia amongst the participants. The participants' liking of various food items such as vegetables were significantly correlated with food neophobia scores. Nutrition education policies and programs are of importance to address the students' food neophobia during their tertiary education so that they maintain lifelong healthy dietary habits and consume a variety of foods to improve their physical health and well-being.

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Bangladesh, Demographics, Food neophobia, Food preferences, University students