Racial and gender differences in weight status and dietary practices among college students

Adolescence. Winter 2001;36(144):819-33.


A questionnaire was used to assess nutritional intake, weight status, and dietary practices among 630 U.S. college students. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using self-reported heights and weights, and nutritional status was assessed via 24-hour recall. Sixty-four percent of the students had acceptable BMI levels (between 19 and 25); 16% of African-American females and 15% of African-American males had BMIs indicating obesity (30 or above). Approximately 18% of the students consumed 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables, 7% consumed 6 or more grain products, and 53% consumed 2 or more dairy products. Twenty-seven percent reported never/rarely eating fast foods. Recommendations are presented for the development of culturally appropriate health education/promotion programs in order to help college students meet Healthy People 2010 objectives.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Southeastern United States / epidemiology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric