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Disparities in Overweight and Obesity Among US College Students

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Objectives : To examine social disparities and behavioral correlates of overweight and obesity over time among college students.

Methods : Multilevel analyses of BMI, physical activity, and television viewing from 2 representative surveys of US college students (n=24,613).

Results : Overweight and obesity increased over time and were higher among males, African Americans, and students of lower socioeconomic position and lower among Asians. Television viewing and in activity were associated with obesity, and disparities in these behaviors partially accounted for excess weight among African Americans.

Conclusions : Social disparities in overweight and obesity exist among college students. Promoting physical activity and reducing television viewing may counteract increasing trends.
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Keywords: college students; obesity; physical activity; social disparities; television viewing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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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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