Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Where College Students Live Can Impact Their Weight, Eating And Exercise Habits

Date:
April 9, 2008
Source:
American Physiological Society
Summary:
A new study of female freshman dorm residents adds a new perspective to the 15 pounds that female college freshman are alleged to gain during the first year of higher education, finding that those who avail themselves of school housing consume significantly higher numbers of calories and more sugar and -- unlike their off-campus counterparts -- engage in higher levels of calorie-curbing physical activity.

The first year of college is often associated with the “freshman 15,” a reference to the 15 pounds that female college freshman are alleged to gain during the first year of higher education. The causes of the freshman 15 range from stress-related over-eating to excessive consumption of alcohol. A new study of female freshman dorm residents adds a new perspective to this phenomenon, finding that those who avail themselves of school housing consume significantly higher numbers of calories and more sugar and — unlike their off-campus counterparts — engage in higher levels of calorie- curbing physical activity.

Related Articles


The study was conducted by Sukho Lee and Kyung-shin Park, both of the Department of Fitness & Sports in Teacher Preparation, Texas A & M International University, Laredo, TX. Dr. Lee will present their findings, entitled On Campus Living Increases Level of Physical Activity While Consuming More Calories at the 121st Annual Meeting of The American Physiological Society, part of the Experimental Biology 2008 scientific conference.

The Study

The purpose of the study was to compare the levels of physical activity and diet patterns between students who lived on campus and off campus. Forty-three first-year female students at Texas A & M International University participated in the one-year study, which was conducted during the 2006-2007 school year. At the beginning of the study the women completed a detailed lifestyle questionnaire. At both the beginning and the end of the study they underwent measurements of body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist and hip (W/H) ratio and percentage of body fat. Physical activity levels were monitored using a pedometer for seven days per week once a month.  Personal daily logs (recording sheet for food consumption) were given to the subjects.  The subjects were asked to record food consumption for seven days per week once a month. Dietary patterns were analyzed using specialized computer software.

The researchers found:

  • No significant difference in body weight, BMI, W/H ratio or percentage body fat was apparent between the two groups at the end of the study. A long-term study may, however, show significant differences in percent body fat between the off campus and on campus groups.
  • Total caloric consumption was significantly higher in students who lived on campus compared to those living off campus (1,846ħ122.4 vs. 1,459ħ 92.2 calories per day, p<.05).  This may be due to the fact that most on-campus students use the University meal plan, which offers students unlimited buffet style dining.
  • The amount of sugar that students consumed was also significantly higher in students living on campus compared to those living off campus (17.4ħ3.38 vs. 6.4ħl.41 grams per day, p<.05). The researchers speculated that the on campus students might have more exposure to sugar rich foods due to the University meal plan at the buffet style cafeteria on campus.
  • At the same time, the level of physical activity was significantly higher in students who lived on campus compared to those who lived off campus (90,000ħ19,000 steps per week vs. 42,000ħ5700, p<.05). The researchers suggest that this may be due to the distances between the dorms and campus and the high level of participation in intramural sports and recreational activities among dorm residents. The fact that exercise facilities were more likely accessible may have also played a role.

More Sugar and Calories But More Activity, Too

According to Dr. Lee, “We concluded that while students who live on campus may consume more sugar and total calories per day, they have a higher level of physical activity compared to their off-campus counterparts. One reason may be that students who commute may experience a lack of physical activity compared to those on campus who have exercise facilities closer at hand.”

A limitation of the study is that it was conducted at only one university. “Additional research will shed more light on the issue. It is an important topic especially in light of our nation’s upward trend of obesity,” said Lee.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physiological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Physiological Society. "Where College Students Live Can Impact Their Weight, Eating And Exercise Habits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407114624.htm>.
American Physiological Society. (2008, April 9). Where College Students Live Can Impact Their Weight, Eating And Exercise Habits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407114624.htm
American Physiological Society. "Where College Students Live Can Impact Their Weight, Eating And Exercise Habits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407114624.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) — Microsoft accidentally revealed its upcoming fitness band on Wednesday, so the company went ahead and announced it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bracing to Meet a Killer: Aid Workers Prep for Ebola in Geneva

Bracing to Meet a Killer: Aid Workers Prep for Ebola in Geneva

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) — At the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, around 30 doctors, nurses, lab technicians and water and sanitation workers are gathered for a crash-course in how to safely deal Ebola. Duration: 01:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins