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Alcohol Use, Eating Patterns, and Weight Behaviors in a University Population

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Objective : To explore associations between alcohol, alcohol-related eating, and weight-related health indicators.

Methods : Cross-sectional, multivariate regression of weight behaviors, binge drinking, and alcohol-related eating, using self-reported student survey data (n3206 undergraduates/graduates).

Results : Binge drinking was associated with poor diets, unhealthy weight control, body dissatisfaction, and sedentary behavior. Neither year in school nor age modified these relationships. Alcohol-related eating was associated with increased risk of overweight/obesity.

Conclusions : Binge drinking was associated with an array of adverse behaviors. These associations did not differ between undergraduate and graduate students. Initiatives are needed to assist students in overcoming campus norms promoting unhealthy alcohol and dietary patterns.
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Keywords: alcohol drinking; college health; diet; exercise; obesity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1 Assistant Professor, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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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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