Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Even small weight gains raise blood pressure in college students

Date:
September 6, 2012
Source:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Summary:
As a college student, you may be happy simply not to have gained the "Freshman 15." But a new study shows that as little as 1.5 pounds per year is enough to raise blood pressure in that age group, and the effect was worse for young women.

As a college student, you may be happy simply not to have gained the "Freshman 15." But a University of Illinois study shows that as little as 1.5 pounds per year is enough to raise blood pressure in that age group, and the effect was worse for young women.

"In our study, a small weight gain was enough to raise a college student's systolic blood pressure by 3 to 5 points. If young people continue to gain 1.5 pounds a year and think it doesn't matter, they're misleading themselves and increasing their risk for heart disease," said Margarita Teran-Garcia, a U of I professor of food science and human nutrition.

Data were collected from 795 18- to 20-year-old applicants to the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi in Mexico who weren't accepted to the university but reapplied the next year. The study assessed changes in BMI and body weight over one year and explored whether the applicants experienced changes in blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

One-year changes in body weight were associated with increased blood pressure for both men and women. In the 25 percent of the applicants who had a weight gain of 5 percent or more, that gain was associated with higher blood pressure. The changes were more significant for women than for men, she said.

"The good news is that the reverse was also true. Women who lost 5 percent of their body weight saw reductions in their blood pressure," she said.

The harmful effects of weight gain may be especially pronounced among Mexicans, a group that develops heart disease risk factors at much younger ages and at lower BMIs than comparable groups in the United States. Almost 31 percent of Mexican adults have hypertension, ranging from 13 percent of adults in their twenties to 60 percent of adults age 60 and over, she said.

"We'd like to learn how much high blood pressure is caused by genetics and how much is lifestyle related and propose interventions for persons of Mexican descent in the United States who have a family history of hypertension and heart disease," she said.

Teran-Garcia worries that doctors don't take weight gain and small increases in blood pressure seriously enough in this age group.

"There are very few programs that make college-age people aware of the health problems associated with even small weight gains and encourage them to make lifestyle changes to combat it. Physical activity is important, and many young adults are not getting the recommended 30 minutes to 1 hour a day of exercise," she said.

She added that 18- to 20-year-olds are at the perfect age for intervention and education. "If we can convince these young people that small changes add up to bigger changes and health problems that could be prevented over time, the chronic diseases associated with obesity may never develop," she said.

The study is part of the Up Amigos project, a collaboration between scientists at the U of I and the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi. The researchers are following the 10,000 yearly applicants to the Mexican university to learn how changes in BMI and weight affect the students' health over time.

The article, "One-year follow-up changes in weight are associated with changes in blood pressure in young Mexican adults," was published in a recent issue of Public Health. Co-authors are F.C.D. Andrade, I Vasquez-Vidal, and T. Flood of the U of I and C. Aradillas-Garcia, J.M. Vargas-Morales, and E. Medina-Cerda of the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Mexico.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. The original article was written by Phyllis Picklesimer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. F.C.D. Andrade, I. Vazquez-Vidal, T. Flood, C. Aradillas-Garcia, J.M. Vargas-Morales, E. Medina-Cerda, M. Teran-Garcia. One-year follow-up changes in weight are associated with changes in blood pressure in young Mexican adults. Public Health, 2012; 126 (6): 535 DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2012.02.005

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Even small weight gains raise blood pressure in college students." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906181910.htm>.
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. (2012, September 6). Even small weight gains raise blood pressure in college students. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906181910.htm
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Even small weight gains raise blood pressure in college students." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906181910.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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