Assessing overweight, obesity, diet, and physical activity in college students

Terry T.K. Huang, Kari Jo Harris, Rebecca E. Lee, Niaman Nazir, Wendi Born, Harsohena Kaur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

285 Scopus citations


The authors surveyed 738 college students aged 18 to 27 years to assess overweight, obesity, dietary habits, and physical activity. They used BMI (body mass index) > 25 kg/m2 or BMI > 85th percentile and BMI > 30 kg/m1 or BMI > 95th percentile to estimate overweight and obesity in those aged < 19 years. To define overweight and obesity in those > 20 years, they used BMI > 25 kg/m2 and > 30 kg/m2. They found overweight rates of 21.6% using BMI directly and 16.2% using BMI percentile and obesity rates of 4.9% using BMI directly and 4.2% using BMI percentile. More than 69% of the participants reported < 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day and more than 67% reported < 20 g of fiber per day; participants reported physical activity on fewer than 3 d/wk. Most college students are not meeting dietary and physical activity guidelines, suggesting the need for prevention interventions and increased understanding of overweight in college students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-86
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American College Health Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003


  • College student
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity


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