Assessing overweight, obesity, diet, and physical activity in college students

J Am Coll Health. Sep-Oct 2003;52(2):83-6. doi: 10.1080/07448480309595728.

Abstract

The authors surveyed 738 college students aged 18 to 27 years to assess overweight, obesity, dietary habits, and physical activity. They used BMI (body mass index) > or = 25 kg/m2 or BMI > or = 85th percentile and BMI > or = 30 kg/m2 or BMI > or = 95th percentile to estimate overweight and obesity in those aged < or = 19 years. To define overweight and obesity in those > or = 20 years, they used BMI > or = 25 kg/m2 and > or = 30 kg/m2. They found overweight rates of 21.6% using BMI directly and 16.2% using BMI percentile and obesity rates of 4.9% using BMI directly and 4.2% using BMI percentile. More than 69% of the participants reported < 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day and more than 67% reported < 20 g of fiber per day; participants reported physical activity on fewer than 3 d/wk. Most college students are not meeting dietary and physical activity guidelines, suggesting the need for prevention interventions and increased understanding of overweight in college students.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kansas / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Students* / statistics & numerical data