Weight Change in College Freshmen: Personal, Interpersonal, and Situational Factors

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/211686
Type:
Research Study
Title:
Weight Change in College Freshmen: Personal, Interpersonal, and Situational Factors
Abstract:
Purposes/Aims: The purpose of the study is to explore the personal, interpersonal, and situational factors within the college environment that may increase the risk for weight gain in college freshmen.  The specific aims for this study are to: 1. Determine if college freshmen experience clinically significant weight change in the first semester of college. 2. Examine the effects of gender, ethnicity, and race on weight change in college freshmen during the first semester of college, after controlling for baseline BMI category and any change in height. 3. Assess the additional predictive value of BMI category, physical activity, sedentary behavior, nutritional intake, beverage and snack intake, alcohol consumption, stress management, interpersonal relations, spiritual growth, and health responsibility on weight change in college freshmen in the first semester of college. Rationale/Conceptual Basis/Background: Over the past 25 years, obesity has become the most substantial non-infectious health risk in the U.S., leading some health experts to call it an “epidemic”. An estimated 100 million Americans are obese or overweight, with a predicted climb of 120 million obese Americans over the next five years. In addition, a three-fold increase in adolescent obesity (46% obese/overweight) has spurred a renewed interest to study the weight gain experienced by college students, dubbed the Freshman 15, the number of pounds reportedly gained by students in their first year of college. Although studies indicate the weight gain for college freshmen is less than 15 pounds (ranging from 3.3 – 7.8 pounds), it is still three-to-four times higher than the national average for same age peers not attending college.  Overall, 77% of college freshmen gain weight in the first year, with 67% of the weight gained in the first semester. Much of past research has focused on freshmen weight gain, with far less attention on underlying personal, interpersonal and situational factors.  The Health Promotion Model (HPM) is the theoretical framework selected for this study, because it is likely that the university environment influences college students’ behavioral decision-making relating to weight gain. Methods: The setting for the study is a public, Southwestern university. The sample is traditional college freshmen who reside in dormitory housing and purchase the mandatory cafeteria food plan. Height and weight measures and the on-line survey will be completed at the beginning (T1) and end (T2) of the freshman fall semester.  If clinically significant weight gain is determined, the predictive factors for the weight change will be differentiated through a regression model. Results: Study analysis and evaluation will be available in spring 2012 at the WIN conference. Implications: U. S. college freshmen are at a threshold where overweight/obesity is increasing three-fold as they enter young adulthood.  Additionally, college freshmen gain weight at double the rate of same-age adolescents not attending college. These findings indicate that there are personal, interpersonal and situational influences that place freshman college students at an increased risk for rapid weight gain.  Once risk factors identified, the creation of long-term health-promoting behaviors may ameliorate obesity, and related chronic health problems.
Keywords:
Weight gain; College freshmen
Repository Posting Date:
20-Feb-2012
Date of Publication:
20-Feb-2012
Other Identifiers:
4866
Sponsors:
Western Institute of Nursing

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typeResearch Studyen_GB
dc.titleWeight Change in College Freshmen: Personal, Interpersonal, and Situational Factorsen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/211686-
dc.description.abstractPurposes/Aims: The purpose of the study is to explore the personal, interpersonal, and situational factors within the college environment that may increase the risk for weight gain in college freshmen.  The specific aims for this study are to: 1. Determine if college freshmen experience clinically significant weight change in the first semester of college. 2. Examine the effects of gender, ethnicity, and race on weight change in college freshmen during the first semester of college, after controlling for baseline BMI category and any change in height. 3. Assess the additional predictive value of BMI category, physical activity, sedentary behavior, nutritional intake, beverage and snack intake, alcohol consumption, stress management, interpersonal relations, spiritual growth, and health responsibility on weight change in college freshmen in the first semester of college. Rationale/Conceptual Basis/Background: Over the past 25 years, obesity has become the most substantial non-infectious health risk in the U.S., leading some health experts to call it an “epidemic”. An estimated 100 million Americans are obese or overweight, with a predicted climb of 120 million obese Americans over the next five years. In addition, a three-fold increase in adolescent obesity (46% obese/overweight) has spurred a renewed interest to study the weight gain experienced by college students, dubbed the Freshman 15, the number of pounds reportedly gained by students in their first year of college. Although studies indicate the weight gain for college freshmen is less than 15 pounds (ranging from 3.3 – 7.8 pounds), it is still three-to-four times higher than the national average for same age peers not attending college.  Overall, 77% of college freshmen gain weight in the first year, with 67% of the weight gained in the first semester. Much of past research has focused on freshmen weight gain, with far less attention on underlying personal, interpersonal and situational factors.  The Health Promotion Model (HPM) is the theoretical framework selected for this study, because it is likely that the university environment influences college students’ behavioral decision-making relating to weight gain. Methods: The setting for the study is a public, Southwestern university. The sample is traditional college freshmen who reside in dormitory housing and purchase the mandatory cafeteria food plan. Height and weight measures and the on-line survey will be completed at the beginning (T1) and end (T2) of the freshman fall semester.  If clinically significant weight gain is determined, the predictive factors for the weight change will be differentiated through a regression model. Results: Study analysis and evaluation will be available in spring 2012 at the WIN conference. Implications: U. S. college freshmen are at a threshold where overweight/obesity is increasing three-fold as they enter young adulthood.  Additionally, college freshmen gain weight at double the rate of same-age adolescents not attending college. These findings indicate that there are personal, interpersonal and situational influences that place freshman college students at an increased risk for rapid weight gain.  Once risk factors identified, the creation of long-term health-promoting behaviors may ameliorate obesity, and related chronic health problems.en_GB
dc.subjectWeight gainen_GB
dc.subjectCollege freshmenen_GB
dc.date.available2012-02-20T12:08:26Z-
dc.date.issued2012-02-20T12:08:26Z-
dc.date.accessioned2012-02-20T12:08:26Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipWestern Institute of Nursingen_GB
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