Change in diet, physical activity, and body weight among young adults during the transition from h

Change in diet, - Nutrition Journal Research BioMed Central Open Access Change in diet physical activity and body weight among young-adults during

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Bio Med Central Page 1 of 7 (page number not for citation purposes) Nutrition Journal Open Access Research Change in diet, physical activity, and body weight among young-adults during the transition from high school to college Heidi J Wengreen* and Cara Moncur Address: Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA Email: Heidi J Wengreen* - [email protected]; Cara Moncur - [email protected] * Corresponding author †Equal contributors Abstract Background: The freshmen year of college is likely a critical period for risk of weight gain among young-adults. Methods: A longitudinal observational study was conducted to examine changes in weight, dietary intake, and other health-related behaviors among first-year college students (n = 186) attending a public University in the western United States. Weight was measured at the beginning and end of fall semester (August – December 2005). Participants completed surveys about dietary intake, physical activity and other health-related behaviors during the last six months of high school (January – June 2005) in August 2005 and during their first semester of college (August – December 2005) in December 2005. Results: 159 students (n = 102 women, 57 men) completed both assessments. The average BMI at the baseline assessment was 23.0 (standard deviation (SD) 3.8). Although the average amount of weight gained during the 15-week study was modest (1.5 kg), 23% of participants gained 5% of their baseline body weight. Average weight gain among those who gained 5% of baseline body weight was 4.5 kg. Those who gained 5% of body weight reported less physical activity during college than high school, were more likely to eat breakfast, and slept more than were those who did not gain 5% of body weight. Conclusion: Almost one quarter of students gained a significant amount of weight during their first semester of college. This research provides further support for the implementation of education or other strategies aimed at helping young-adults entering college to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight. Background The high prevalence of obesity in modern societies is a major public health threat and contributes to preventable morbidity and mortality. Current obesity rates among all age groups are two-to-three times higher than they were just 20 years ago [1]. According to the Behavioral Risk Fac- tor Surveillance System (BRFSS; 1991–1998), the greatest increases in obesity rates were among 18–29-year-olds and those who had some college education [2,3]. A recent report from the American College Health Association [2] reported 36.7% of college students were overweight or obese based on self-reported height and weight values. Published: 22 July 2009
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This note was uploaded on 07/27/2010 for the course STA 145 taught by Professor Conner during the Spring '10 term at Albright College.

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Change in diet, - Nutrition Journal Research BioMed Central Open Access Change in diet physical activity and body weight among young-adults during

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