Psych- Lab 1 completed

Psych- Lab 1 completed - Abstract To examine, by gender,...

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Abstract To examine, by gender, how the stress and behaviors of college affect freshman weight change. Methods: Three hundred ninety-six freshmen completed a 40-item health behavior survey and height and weight were collected at baseline and follow-up. Results:: Average weight change was 5.04 lbs for males, 5.49 lbs for females. Weight gain was related to increased alcohol consumption (P=0.014) in men and increased workload (P<0.001) in women. Weight loss was associated with lower academic confidence at baseline (P=0.009) and peer pressure modified by alcohol increase (P=0.025) in men, and fruit/vegetable consumption at baseline (P=0.015) in women. Conclusions: Gender- specific approaches to weight management in this population are needed. There is conflicting evidence about whether college students are truly subject to the rapid and significant weight gain during the freshman year. Prior studies on both men and women report mean changes from a loss of 1.5 pounds to a gain of 5.5 pounds over the freshman academic year (8-9months). 1-5 Two studies show a 2.9- and 4.2-pound gain over the first semester (34 months). 5,6 Studies focused on body weight in female students show results ranging from no change to a gain of nearly 9.0 pounds over the freshman year.79 One study, limited to weight gain in females over the second semester (4 months), reported an average weight gain of 4.0 pounds,10 whereas a more recent study observed a gain in women students of 1.6 lbs over 20 weeks following the start of school.11 Student behaviors may put them at risk of overweight by disturbing energy balance. In particular, insufficient fruit and vegetable intake, high consumption of fried or fatty fast
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foods, decreased exercise, increased leisure time, and heavy alcohol use have been documented in this population.5,10,12-14 Environmental and lifestyle changes of college students such as all-you-can-eat dining halls, easy access to junk food, and altered sleeping patterns have been cited as significant contributors to freshman weight gain.1,8 Psychological stress within the college population is a factor in alcohol consumption,14 cigarette smoking,15,16 and disordered eating17 among college students, all behaviors that can contribute to weight change. Stress and stress coping factors have been linked to eating behaviors,18,20 though the effect on weight change has been disputed.21-22 Men and women seem to differ in their experience of and response to stress,19 and in the young adult population, stress-related overconsumption has been primarily linked to lack of emotional support in women.23 Chronic illness, academic load, degree of comfort in residence halls, conflicts with staff/ faculty, sexual life events, and family life events have all been associated with stress in college students.24,25 We examine weight change over the freshman year in a population of college students and assess associations between weight change, health behaviors (such as fruit and vegetable consumption, exercise, and alcohol consumption), and perceptions of stress,
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This note was uploaded on 05/06/2008 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Cloonan during the Spring '08 term at Fordham.

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Psych- Lab 1 completed - Abstract To examine, by gender,...

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