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Change in Diet, Physical Activity, and Body Weight in Female College Freshman

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Objective: To examine diet, physical activity, and body-weight changes associated with relocation from home to university. Methods: Diet, fitness/physical activity, body-weight parameters and self-efficacy were assessed among 54 freshman women upon college entry and 5 months later. Results: Although caloric intake significantly decreased, a significant increase occurred in body-weight parameters that may be attributed to significant decreases in total physical activity. Conclusions: Interventions are needed aimed at increasing physical activity; improving diet quality related to consumption of vegetables, fruits, breads and pasta, and meats; and decreasing alcohol consumption.

Keywords: college student health; energy equation; obesity; self-efficacy; weight management

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: William Yarber Graduate Fellow, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN. 2: Health Promotion, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. 3: Nursing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. 4: Wayne State University, School of Education, Detroit, MI.

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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