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Weight status, physical activity and eating habits of young adults in Midwest Brazil

  • Luciana Zaranza Monteiro (a1) (a2), Andrea Ramirez Varela (a2), Bruno Alves de Lira (a1), Leonardo Chagas Contiero (a3), Maria de Lourdes Alves Carneiro (a4), Priscila de Souza (a1), Juliana Oliveira de Toledo Nóbrega (a3) (a4) and Francelino Braga Júnior (a1)...

Abstract

Objective:

To assess weight status and eating habits of undergraduate university students in relation to gender and examine the relationships between weight status, physical activity and eating habits.

Design:

Cross-sectional study conducted between October 2016 and May 2017.

Setting:

Young adults in Midwest Brazil.

Participants:

Undergraduate university students (n 2163) majoring in health care.

Results:

Among 2163 students, 69·3 % were female, 65·4 % were aged 20–29 years, 66·8% consumed alcohol and 44·2% did not achieve more than 150 min of physical activity per week. We found significant differences in the consumption of beans (P < 0·04) and full-fat milk (P < 0·01) between women and men. Women also had more sedentary lifestyles (P < 0·01) and showed higher prevalence of overweight (33·8 %) and obesity (5·0 %) than men. Students who did not engage in physical activity were more overweight (P = 0·03), consumed more soft drinks (P < 0·01) and meat with excess fat (P = 0·01). There was a positive association between weight status and fruit (P = 0·02), salad (P < 0·01), greens/vegetables (P < 0·01) and beans (P < 0·01) intake.

Conclusions:

The low level of physical activity and unhealthy eating patterns reported by the study participants were inconsistent with the national recommendations for a healthy active lifestyle for adults and may contribute to the increasing rate of overweight and obesity in this population. A joint effort between universities and all relevant government agencies is needed to develop and promote school- and community-based interventions.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email lucianazaranza@hotmail.com

References

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Keywords

Weight status, physical activity and eating habits of young adults in Midwest Brazil

  • Luciana Zaranza Monteiro (a1) (a2), Andrea Ramirez Varela (a2), Bruno Alves de Lira (a1), Leonardo Chagas Contiero (a3), Maria de Lourdes Alves Carneiro (a4), Priscila de Souza (a1), Juliana Oliveira de Toledo Nóbrega (a3) (a4) and Francelino Braga Júnior (a1)...

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