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Eat Behav. 2011 Dec;12(4):296-301. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2011.07.009. Epub 2011 Jul 24.

Multiple health behaviors: patterns and correlates of diet and exercise in a Hispanic college sample.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


Obesity rates are alarming in various ethnocultural groups, particularly in Hispanics. With Hispanics being the fastest growing group to enter college, the aims of the current study were to examine patterns and correlates of exercise and dietary behaviors in Hispanic college students. Data were collected from 693 Hispanic undergraduates who enrolled online and received course extra credit for participation. Individuals completed questionnaires assessing constructs of the transtheoretical model for three health behaviors (exercise, dietary fat, and fruit/vegetable stages of change) along with demographic, psychosocial, and acculturation measures. Less than 1% of students had 0 obesity-relevant risks, while 68% indicated 2 or more risks. Only 2% of the sample met fruit and vegetable guidelines. Lower income was associated with greater obesity-relevant risks, while stress coping ability was associated with fewer such risks. Findings indicate specific obesity risk behaviors in Hispanic college students and suggest demographic and psychosocial targets for prevention and intervention according to stage of change.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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