Weight gain in freshman college students and perceived health

Paul de Vos, Christoph Hanck, Marjolein Neisingh, Dennis Prak, Henk Groen, Marijke M. Faas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
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Background. We determined body weight increase in first year Dutch college students. We had the objective to determine whether the awareness of the unhealthy lifestyle raised concerns and willingness to change habits.
Methods. Body weight, heartbeat, BMI, body fat percentages, and blood pressure values were collected from 1095 students. Comprehensive statistical analysis was performed on the data.
Results. The students had a mean weight gain of 1.1 kg and an average BMI gain of 0.35. Members of a studentcorps gained significantly more weight (1.6 ± 3.1 kg) than non-members (1.0 ± 2.5 kg), while students who are living independently gained an average of 0.5 kg more than students living with their parents (p b 0.05). Approximately 40% of the students changed their eating patterns and 30.7% of the students consumed more alcohol.
Conclusions. Students experienced hindrance in physical exercise and mental well-being. Students with a high BMI without irregular eating habits were willing to change their lifestyle. However, students who had irregular lifestyles exhibited the lowest willingness to change their eating behaviors and to lose weight. Our study provides insight into means by which adolescents at high risk for weight gain can be approached to improve experienced quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Obesity
  • Eating habits
  • Lifestyle
  • Quality of life

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