Leaving college with more than just a degree
A recent study has examined the weight trajectories of US college students and has found that, on average, a college student gains an extra 10 pounds during their studies. Published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, the study measured student BMI at the beginning and end of their first and second years, then once again after their fourth year. Twenty three per cent of the students were overweight when they started college, whilst 41% were by the end of their senior year. The increase in weight was not the only worry for the study authors, who highlighted that obese young adults are at risk of a variety of health conditions.
The authors also found that weight gain was observed over all four years of college, not limited to a particular year. Meaning that weight loss interventions need to be able to target multiple cohorts of students, rather than just the first year, which is what many of the current interventions do. Fruit and vegetable intake of the students was also below the recommended intake. The study authors hope that new behavioural strategies will target the college population in order to help curb the obesity epidemic.