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J Community Health. 2012 Jun;37(3):591-8. doi: 10.1007/s10900-011-9489-9.

The simultaneous presence of health risk behaviors in freshman college students in Brazil.

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  • 1Federal University of Santa Catarina, Sports Centre, Centre for Cineantropometry and Human Performan, UFSC/CDS/NuCIDH, Campus Universit├írio, Trindade, Florian├│polis 88040-900, Brazil.


The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and factors associated with simultaneous health risk behaviors in freshmen college students enrolled in a Brazilian university. We interviewed 738 students (59.2% men) with average age of 20.1 years (CI 95%: 19.8-20.5). The risk behaviors assessed were smoking habit, alcohol use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. Independent variables were sex, age, employment, marital status, maternal education, study shift and socioeconomic level. It was found that 8.7% were smokers, 45.9% showed alcohol abuse, 59.4% had inadequate diet and 18.5% were physically inactive. Of the students, 20.2% showed no risk behavior, 39.1% one behavior, 29.0% two risk behaviors and 11.7% three and/or four risk behaviors. Males (OR: 2.04, CI 95%: 1.13-3.67) and night shift students (OR: 1.83, CI 95%: 1.01-3.33) were more likely to have three and/or four risk behaviors. Health promotion interventions focusing simultaneous behavior changes should be employed at the university.

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