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ERIC Number: EJ897118
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8969
Predicting the "Freshman 15": Environmental and Psychological Predictors of Weight Gain in First-Year University Students
Vella-Zarb, Rachel A.; Elgar, Frank J.
Health Education Journal, v69 n3 p321-332 Sep 2010
Objectives: (1) To investigate weight gain in first-year university students; and (2) to examine whether environmental and psychological factors, specifically accommodation and stress, predict weight gain. Methods: Eighty-four first-year university students (77 per cent female) were weighed and completed the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Kamarck and Mermelstein, 1983) and a health habits questionnaire at the beginning and end of their first semester of university (Mean duration = 76.67 days, SD = 1.76). Results: Weight gain was small, but significant (M = 0.89 kg, SD = 3.30). Students living on-campus gained more weight than their off-campus peers, M = 1.65 kg and 0.13 kg respectively, t(82) = -2.32, p less than 0.05. No significant relationship was found between stress and weight change. Conclusions: These results suggest that the first year of university is a critical period for weight gain, especially for students living in residence. Greater understanding of risk factors associated with weight gain in first-year university students, particularly students living in residence, could lead to prevention of this weight gain and potential subsequent overweight and obesity. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada