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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2008 Jan-Feb;40(1):39-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2007.01.001.

Changes in weight and health behaviors from freshman through senior year of college.

Author information

1
Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63108-2212, USA. racettes@wustl.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess weight changes, exercise and diet behaviors among college students from the beginning of freshman year until the end of senior year.

DESIGN:

Longitudinal observational study.

SETTING:

Private university in St. Louis, Missouri.

PARTICIPANTS:

College students (138 females, 66 males).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Weight and height were measured, body mass index (BMI) was calculated, and exercise and dietary behaviors were assessed by questionnaire.

ANALYSIS:

Changes in weight, BMI, exercise, and dietary patterns from the beginning of freshman year to the end of senior year.

RESULTS:

Females gained 1.7 +/- 4.5 kg (3.75 +/- 9.92 lb) [mean +/- SD] from freshman to senior year, and males gained 4.2 +/- 6.4 kg (9.26 +/- 14.11 lb) (both P < .001). Weight changes were highly variable between students, however, ranging from -13.2 kg to +20.9 kg (-29.10 to +46.08 lb).

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Weight gain was common but variable among college students. Importantly, exercise and dietary patterns did not meet the recommended guidelines for many college students, which may have long-term health implications.

PMID:
18174103
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2007.01.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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