Overweight & Obesity What are the leading causes of weight gain amongst Rowan students? Ian Doyle, Krystina Gorman, Sarah Cohen, Alexa Gibson Professor DiRosa Consumer Health Decisions Research Project Abstract The United States is currently facing an overweight and obesity epidemic. Recent studies have shown startling growth in obesity trends amongst adolescents. It is most important to identify the leading causes of weight gain among college students in order to prevent or discontinue obesity amongst college students in the future. After all, these students will set an example for the next generation. This study examined the relationship between college lifestyle habits and weight gain among Rowan University students. One hundred randomly-selected and anonymous Rowan University students were surveyed. In addition to asking students if they have gained weight in college, the survey explored factors that may affect weight gain, such as alcohol consumption, eating habits, physical activity, time management, motivation, and metabolism. Research showed that students gained a significant amount of weight during their college experience. When asked about their weight gain, students answered laziness, alcohol consumption, and a lack of time to eat healthy as their most influential factors of their weight gain. Chapter 1 Introduction In preparing to make the transition from high school to college most students are warned about the common weight gain that is associated with this transition. It has become a phenomenon known as the “freshman 15”. The most commonly observed weight gain is during freshman year of college, however, many students continue to gain weight throughout their college years. It is obvious that along with the changeover from high school to college is a lifestyle change; but the question to be researched is “What are the main factors causing weight gain amongst college students?” Obesity has become somewhat of an epidemic throughout the United States. It is most important to prevent or discontinue obesity in the college students of America. After all, these students are our future and will set the example for the next generation. “Currently, two thirds of US adults are and more than 15% of US adolescents are obese. Between 1991 and 1997, the greatest increase in obesity was found among 18- to 29-year-olds (7.1% to 12.1%) and those with some college education (10.6% to 17.8%). By 2001, the prevalence of obesity among 18- to 29-year-olds further increased to 14% and 21% among those with some college education.” (Haung et al., 2003 p.83) The young adult population is becoming increasingly more obese every year. Research must be done to identify the main causes of this problem in order to either decrease or, hopefully, end obesity amongst college students in America. Exploring and surveying the obvious factors that would affect weight gain such as drinking and eating habits, physical activity, smoking, and genetics will eventually allow a conclusion to develop as to what factors are the most important in the growing trend in obesity amongst the college population. It is important to restore our young adults to a healthy weight and lifestyle; otherwise the obesity will control and therefore depreciate our country. Research Question What are the leading causes of weight gain amongst Rowan students? Significance of the Problem Since there is such a growing trend of overweight and obesity in our country, it’s important to determine the specific factors that influence weight gain in college students. As stated previously, researchers have found the greatest increase in obesity among 18- to 29-year-olds and this trend was significantly higher amongst those with some college education. This research shows a 50% increase in obesity prevalence amongst college students by 2001. It is clear that college students seem to be at a higher risk of becoming obese. It is important to not only assess the health of Rowan's student population, but also identify the leading causes of weight gain of Rowan University students. Evidence showing unhealthy traits linked to current overweight and obesity trends amongst Rowan’s student population should be taken seriously. This is especially true because overweight and obesity can result in serious health problems. Being able to pinpoint the source of these extreme growing rates can help us prevent and, hopefully, stop this epidemic here at Rowan University. Chapter 2 Review of Literature Alcohol Use, Eating Patterns, and Weight Behaviors in a University Population In 2004, Boynton Health Service at the University of Minnesota mailed a 10-page anonymous survey to a random-sample of enrolled college students. Of the 6000 surveys mailed to students, 3206 were completed and returned with the consent to use the information in the study. In this cross- sectional study, Nelson, Lust, Story, and Ehlinger (2009) researched associations between alcohol, alcohol-related eating, and weight gain. (Nelson et al, 2009 p.227) Results of the survey showed that binge drinking was associated with poor diets, unhealthy weight control, body dissatisfaction, and sedentary behavior. Alcohol-related eating was associated with an increased risk of becoming overweight/obese. The study also showed that this relationship between alcohol and unhealthy behavior was unaffected by age or year in school. (Nelson et al, 2009 p.228) This study concluded that university students are at a high risk for poor health behaviors, such as, binge drinking, weight gain, poor diets, and unhealthy weight control. Researchers believed college students were sent mixed messages about health promotion strategies. For examples students received advice to eat while drinking to avoid negative consequences of alcohol, while also being advised to avoid late night snacks. The researchers recommend effective health promotion strategies to prepare students to deal with the issues of weight gain in college. (Nelson et al, 2009 p.236) Assessing Overweight, Obesity, Diet, and Physical Activity in College Students In the spring of 2001 and spring 2002, 736 college students aged 18-27 completed a cross-sectional survey given by the University of Kansas. These students completed a smoking behavior survey, but were the asked to fill out a questionnaire on diet and physical activity as well. These students were given a small compensation for their time and effort. (Huang et al., 2003 p. 83) The authors were very clear in their assessment of BMI, diet, and physical activity. The questionnaire defined overweight and obesity differently amongst different age groups. For the participants age 19 and under, those ≥ 85th BMI percentile were classified as overweight, while those ≥ 95th BMI percentile were classified as obese. For those age 20 and older, overweight was classified as having a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m² and obese was classified as having a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m². Students were asked to check off the servings of fruits, vegetables, and dietary fibers each student ate per week. To assess physical activity, the students were asked three questions; 1) How many of the past 7 days they engaged in at least 20 minutes of exercise or sports activities that resulted in sweat and heavy breathing? 2) How many of the past 7 days they engaged in exercises to strengthen or tone muscles? 3) How many days in the past 7 they participated in a physical education class? (Answers ranged from 0 to seven days). (Huang et al., 2003 p. 84) Results found that approximately 26.5% of students surveyed were overweight or obese. Also students averaged less than the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Students fell drastically short in the recommended physical activity levels. In fact, 16.1% of students reported no physical activity. (Huang et al., 2003 p. 85) After conducting the survey, the authors came to some conclusions. As for the BMI levels, the study concluded that further research should done to show the effects of these BMI levels. The study went on to conclude that while many of our college students are healthy, they do not receive enough fruits and vegetables. Also, those who were overweight/obese received significantly less intake of fruits and vegetables compared to other college students. Finally, the study concluded that many college students did not meet recommended standards, a trend which seemed to become worse with age. Therefore, interventions in this population are suggested. (Huang et al., 2003 p. 85) College Students' Motivation to Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight Data for this study was collected from fall 2003 to spring 2005 at a US Midwestern public university. Students completed the study at the student health center, under the supervision of a trained study coordinator and the university's physician-in-chief. 300 anonymous university students between the ages of 18 and 24 took this cross-sectional survey. The goal of this study was to identify the motivational factors related to fitness. The study also examined the different motivational factors between gender and weight status. A convenience sample was taken of 102 males and 198 females. They were recruited through brochures/pamphlets/flyers, campus health fairs, staff, health care providers from the health center, media, e-mail, in-class announcements, and word of mouth. The students were given $30 for their time. (Furia et al., 2009 p. 256) In this study, BMI was calculated using the standard formula. The survey assessed gender, race, age, smoking status, and intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors in achieving and managing a healthy weight. Nineteen motivational items were given to measure on a 7 point Likert-type scale (0 to 6, not true to totally true). (Furia et al., 2009 p. 257) After the results of the survey were calculated 6 different factors seemed to affect healthy weight goals. In the intrinsic motivation section, the top two responses were "I feel very tense about trying to maintain a healthy weight" followed by "I think that trying to maintain a healthy weight is boring" as a close second. Under the self-efficacy section, more students chose "I put a lot of effort into maintaining a healthy weight" than "I enjoy trying to maintain a healthy weight very much." In the extrinsic section, most students said "I try to maintain a healthy weight so that I will not look too flabby or fat.” with "People who maintain a healthy weight are a lot more attractive than those who do not" as a close second. Under the Peer Pressure section a majority of the people chose "My friends tell me that I should maintain a healthy weight." (Furia et al., 2009 p. 259) Clearly this study shows some very revealing information about what motivates college students to be fit. As shown, students feel very tense and bored when maintaining a healthy weight. Also, the survey revealed that college students felt maintaining fitness was not as rewarding as the effort involved. Extrinsically, we see that college students maintain a healthy weight to appear more attractive to their peers. Males and normal weight students showed higher motivation than females and overweight students. This study concludes that our society needs to find a way to intrinsically motivate young adults to maintain a healthy weight, and we must focus on motivating females and overweight students to see a significant change. (Furia et al., 2009 p. 261) Differences in Dietary Patterns Among College Students According to Body Mass Index The authors surveyed 557 undergraduate students aged 18-56 years of age. The purpose of this survey was to assess weight status, health behaviors, and dietary variety. To achieve this, they used body mass index (BMI) to divide students into 4 weight categories: underweight (BMI < 19 kg/m2), healthy weight (19 kg/m2 to 24.99 kg/m2), over-weight (25 kg/m2 to 29.99 kg/m2), and obese (> 30 kg/m2). (Brunt et al., 2009 p. 629) The study found approximately 35% of respondents overweight or obese and 8% were underweight. (Brunt et al., 2009 p. 630) Among the weight categories, the authors observed significant differences in diet. Overall, 33% of the students consumed 1 fruit in 3 days. The authors found no differences among the weight categories related to eating fatty, sugary snacks. 14% of students in the study smoked. However, fewer students in our study than in others reported consuming alcohol. The authors claim that may be due to the fact that alcohol was not permitted on campus and because many students lived on campus, they did not consume alcohol. In addition, 75% of the students were under the age of 21, which may have deterred some students from drinking alcohol. The study concluded that college administrators should create health promotion and skill-building programs to improve students' diet variety. (Brunt et al., 2009 p. 633) Perceptions of Body Weight, Weight Management Strategies, and Depressive Symptoms Among US College Students Data was collected from the 2006 National College Health Assessment. The assessment received data from 97,357 college students across America. The assessment focused on students’ body weight perceptions, weight loss strategies, and feelings of depression. The purpose of the study was to determine whether or not inaccurate body weight perception predicts unhealthy weight management strategies and to determine the extent to which inaccurate body weight perception is associated with depressive symptoms among US college students. (Harring et al., 2010 p. 43) The study found that females with inflated body weight perceptions were significantly more likely to engage in unhealthy weight management strategies and report depressive symptoms than females with an accurate body weight perception. Men with inflated body weight perceptions were not likely to engage in unhealthy weight management strategies. In fact, we saw men with high BMI’s want to become bigger. This is most likely to weightlifting and becoming stronger, while women with high BMI’s took drastic measures such as vomiting and weight loss pills to lose weight. (Harring et al., 2010 p. 45) The study concluded that college women are concerned with their weight and will take action to be seen as slim. The study also encourages colleges to focus more on interventions targeting both diet and physical activity while also promoting positive body image, especially in women. (Harring et al., 2010 p. 48) Selected Health Behaviors That Influence College Freshman Weight Change In this study, Kasparek, Corwin, Valois, Sargent, and Morris investigated the effect of physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake, and alcohol use for 6 months in college freshman. They used a cross-sectional study which involved administering a Web-based survey. According to the article, all first year Winthrop University students were eligible to participate in the study. They sent all freshman emails with the web-based study in both fall and spring semesters of 2002. There were 193 students that completed both studies and qualified as a participant in the study All participants were first year freshman whose ages ranged from 17-19. There was a $50 cash prize for three randomly selected students who participated in the survey. (Kasparek et al 2008 p. 438) Before the start of the study, the groups differed in gender and race. 24 males and 169 females were involved in the study. Because the number of females is much higher than the number of males, the results might be skewed and be more based off the females. The study involved mostly students that lived on campus and had university meal plans. (Kasparek et al 2008 p. 439) The study showed that 57% of the participants gained weight. The mean weight gain was 7.1 lbs. There was also weight loss reported by 23.8% of participants (Kasparek et al., 2008 p. 439). Most respondents stayed in the same activity level they started with at the beginning of the year. Respondents who reported never consuming alcohol decreased nearly 8 percent. At the beginning of the study, 87.95% of participants met criteria for adequate intake of fruits and vegetables, but at the follow-up survey, it decreased to 79.9% meeting criteria for adequate intake of fruits and vegetables, but this decrease was not associated with weight (Kasparek et al., 2008 p. 440). The results showed that people that are overweight are becoming more overweight and the higher a person’s BMI level is, the less activity they get, increasing the chance of weight gain. The researchers reported that the majority of college students were inactive, which is a crucial behavioral choice for college freshman. (Kasparek et al., 2008 p. 439) The researchers concluded that educators and healthy-lifestyle promoters need to take a stronger role. The health promoters and health educators must assist college students in finding physical activities that are enjoyable and sustainable in order to maintain lifelong fitness. (Kasparek et al., 2008 p. 443). The 'Freshman 5': A Meta-Analysis of Weight Gain in the Freshman Year of College A meta-analysis was conducted in November 2008. The analysis focused on articles published in English scientific journals between 1985 and 2008 available on the MEDLINE, Web of Science, and PsycINFO databases and excluded studies of weight change over periods beyond freshman year. The objective of this study was to use available research to estimate the amount of weight gained by freshman during their first year of college. Another objective of this study was to identify potential predictors of the freshman weight gain phenomenon. (Vella-Zarb et. al, 2009 p. 161) There were 24 different journals that were analyzed in this study. The factors that were taken out of these articles were 1) sample size 2) whether or not a significant weight change was found 3) how much weight was gained 4) duration of the study 5) gender composition of study 6) reporting method used to assess weight gain 7) predictors of weight gain. (Vella-Zarb et. al, 2009 p. 162) The sample size in these 24 journals was 3,401 (84.5% were female and 15.5% male). The average duration of the studies was just over 6 months. 17 out of the 24 studies measured height and weight where the others used self-reports. Only two of the 24 articles concluded no significant weight change. (Vella-Zarb et. al, 2009 p. 162) The overall mean gain from the other studies was 3.86 pounds. Apart from the 2 studies that said there was no weight gain the other studies submitted that they all found weight gain in their students. The smallest weight gain in the journals was 1.6 pounds and the largest was 8.8 pounds. (Vella-Zarb et. al, 2009 p. 164) The researchers concluded from this study that freshman year is very vulnerable for students to gain weight. However, it may be more realistic to call the weight gain the "Freshman 5". (Vella-Zarb et. al, 2009 p. 165) The Relationship between Lifestyle and Campus Eating Behaviors in Male and Female University Students 132 participants (38 male and 94 female, ages 18 to 22) were sampled by convenience from a Canadian university undergraduate population. Students were given a questionnaire by a physical education instructor. (Jackson et al., 2009 Methods) The 2-page questionnaire was developed based on a questionnaire piloted by 25 physical education students in their fourth-year. The questionnaire was critiqued and revised by two experts in the area of behavioral medicine and health promotion. (Jackson et al., 2009 Questionnaire Development) The questionnaire consisted of two main sections: eating behaviors and lifestyle factors. Lifestyle factors included place of residence, way of getting to campus (walking, cycling, driving, public transit, or other), total budget for food each week, hours spent studying in a week, commute time to campus one-way, time spent on campus per day, and physical activity pattern. These questions defined the amount of physical activity done per week that elevated the heart rate as often, sometimes, or never. (Jackson et al., 2009 Questionnaire Development) Eating behaviors included money spent on campus for food per day, frequency breakfast is bought on campus in a week, frequency lunch is bought on campus in a week, frequency supper is bought on campus in a week, number of times fast food is consumed in a week, number of times one packs a lunch during the week, number of servings of caffeine per day, number of servings of water per day, and the number of servings of alcohol per week. Serving guidelines were provided following all questions. (Jackson et al., 2009 Questionnaire Development) The main results of the study showed that students who lived at home drank less alcohol then students that lived on campus. It also showed that students that lived at home had healthier eating behaviors. The researchers concluded the stability of an in-home environment positively affects eating behaviors. (Jackson et al 2009 Significance) The individuals who reported being highly active, ate less fast food than those students who participated in little or no physical activity. The study showed that habits are influenced by availability of healthy foods on campus. Based on the results of the study, researchers concluded that campuses should a stable living environment as well as provide more nutritious food. (Jackson et al., 2009 Discussion) Chapter 3 Methodology Subjects: The study was conducted by having the subjects complete a survey (see appendix A). A person was eligible for this study as long as they were Rowan University students (Both full and part time students). Each survey was randomly handed out without regard to gender, race, age, or ethnicity. Also, both commuter and residential students were included in the study. Students filled out the surveys anonymously. Data Collection: The data was collected through a survey. In the survey, students answered three different types of questions; their demographical information, behavior, and attitudes towards the topic. The survey consisted of mostly fixed choice questions like multiple choice or simple yes/no questions. There were also two open-ended questions in order to determine the student’s thoughts on the “freshman 15” and their choices of exercise and eating habits. The survey mainly focused on the habits contributing to weight change during the transition into college and while at college. Timeline: 9/24/10 Rough Draft Survey 9/26/10 Revise Survey 10/30/10 Start Ch. 1-3 11/1/10 Finish Ch. 1-3 11/22/10 Hand Out Surveys at Library 11/24/10 Hand Out Surveys at Library 12/4/10 Revise Ch. 1-3 12/4/10 Calculate Results 12/5/10 Compare Results To Our Research Question 12/6/10 Create Charts 12/7/10 Finish Ch. 1-5 w/ out Timeline or Final Discussion 12/8/10 Finish Timeline & Final Discussion 12/9/10 Finalize Research Paper Please help up determine the leading causes of weight gain in college. This survey is strictly for Rowan students. We are surveying 100 people in order to collect information for a research paper based on this topic. To help us please answer these questions truthfully. Your answers will be confidential. Thank you! I. Personal Info: Grade Level: ________ College Athlete: Yes No Age: ________ Commuter: Yes No Major: ______________ Meal Plan: Yes No Gender: M F Please circle one answer: II. Diet & Exercise How much weight have you gained transitioning from high-school to college? a. 0-5lbs b. 5-10lbs c. 10-15lbs d. 20lbs or more In highschool, how many meals did you eat a day? a. 1 b. 2 c. 3 d. 4 e. 5 In college, how many meals do you eat a day? a. 1 b. 2 c. 3 d. 4 e. 5 In highschool, how many minutes of physical activity were in your day? a. 0-10 b. 10-20 c. 20-30 d. 30-60 e. 60-120 In college, how many minutes of physical activity are in your day? a. 0-10 b. 10-20 c. 20-30 d. 30-60 e. 60-120 In highschool, how many days per month were you consuming alcohol? a. 0 b. 1 c. 2 d. 3 e. 4 or greater In college, how many days per month are you consuming alcohol? a. 0 b. 1 c. 2 d. 3 e. 4 or greater III. Your opinion on college weight gain: Please circle the LETTER of the top 3 reasons you think there is generally a weight gain noticed between highschool and college students: a. Metabolism slows with age b. Less time to eat healthy (fast food) c. Less physically active due to time d. Less physically active due to laziness with age e. Meal plans allow all you can eat, everytime you eat f. Consuming more alcohol in college g. Eating late at night in college h. Consuming more snack foods in college If you noticed a weight gain in transitioning to college, explain what you think caused this. ______________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ Thank you for your time! Your information is important to us!!! CHARTS Figure 1 Public Relations Applied American Studies 2% Declared Majors Sociology Athletic 1% 1% Pyschology RTF Accounting Training Political Science 5% 2% 5% 2% Math 6% Biology 5% 2% Nursing Business 5% 7% Communications Management 6% Information Systems Elementary 1% Education 11% Liberal Arts HES 3% 22% HPFM 4% History English 4% Geography 4% Higher Ed 1% Administration Athletic training 1% This graph shows the different majors of our participants. Health & Exercise Science majors are the largest group. This is due to the fact that HES majors were accessible for our group. This graph shows that our selection process was fairly neutral. Figure 2 Year at Rowan Fresman Senior 11% 28% Sophomore 31% Junior 30% This graph shows the grade level of the students that participated in our study. The graph shows that most of our participants were at the Sophomore and Junior level. Figure 3 Gender Female Male 56% 44% This graph shows the gender population of our participants. The graph shows that we had more females participate in our survey. Figure 4 Age Range 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26+ 2% 2% 5% 10% 14% 17% 11% 21% 18% This graph shows the age range of the participants of our study. This graph shows that a majority of our participants were between the ages 19 and 23 years old. Figure 5 Residence On- Campus Commuter Resident 56% 44% This graph shows the where our participants live. We surveyed more commuters, than on-campus residents. Figure 6 Participate in College Athletics Yes 24% No 76% This graph shows how many college athletes participated in our study. The graph shows that we had more non-athletes participating in our study than athletes. Figure 7 Meal Plan No Yes 57% 43% This graph shows how many students have meal plans. More students do not have meal plans. This is to be expected in this population as we have more commuters than on campus residents. Figure 8 Weight Gain Amongst Rowan Students 20+ lbs 15%0-5 lbs 10-15 lbs 37% 17% 5-10 lbs 31% This graph shows how much weight gain each participant has experienced since they were in college. There is significant weight gain amongst this population. Most students fell into the 0-5 lb weight gain group. That makes sense as students who did not receive weight gain also fell into this group. Figure 9 Meals per Day High School vs College Meals in High School Meals in College 49 46 26 18 16 19 12 8 2 4 1 2 3 4 5 This chart shows the amount of meals eaten per day in both high school and college. The amount of meals stays generally the same among this population. Most students eat 3 meals per day. Figure 10 Alcohol Consumption: High School vs College 40 30 Students 20 High School Students 10 College Students 0 0 1 2 3 4+ Nights per Week w/ at least 1 Alcoholic Beverage This graph compares the drinking habits of students before they were in college to after they entered college. Our graph shows that most high school students drank 2 or less nights a week. The trend for these same students has changed since entering college. Most students now drink at least 2 nights a week, and there is a significant increase in the amount of students that 3 or more nights a week. This could be because alcohol is more available to them in college than in high school. Figure 11 Daily Phyical Activity High School vs College Physical Activity In High School Physical Activity In College 45 26 26 27 25 17 17 10 5 2 0-10 min 10-20 min 20-30 min 30-60 min 60-120 min This graph shows the amount of exercise our participants received in both high school and college. The graph clearly shows that our participants were physically active in high school. Since coming to college we see our more athletic participants receive less daily activity. This could be affected by high school athletes not continuing sports in college. Figure 12 Factors of Weight Gain 75 45 41 39 22 18 12 11 This graph shows what our participants found to be the most influential factors that contribute weight gain. Most people thought laziness was the main factor that contributed to their weight gain. Discussion After surveying 100 Rowan University students, we were able to find some answers to the question, “What are the main factors causing weight gain amongst college students?” While calculating our results, the first discovery that we found was how diverse our research population was. We surveyed 100 students in over 20 different majors. HES majors made up the largest group, with 22%. (Figure1) This most likely is due to the fact that HES majors were readily available to us because we see them often in our classes. Our population was fairly split amongst Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors each of whom made up approximately 30% of our research population. Freshman, by far, made up the smallest class surveyed, with only 11 Freshman participants. (Figure 2) Once again, this is most likely due to the fact that upper classmen were readily available to our group because we see them more often. Our population was split evenly amongst males and females. However, females made up the slight majority of 56% in this population. (Figure 3) We surveyed students from the ages 18 to 26. Most of the participants were between the ages of 19 to 21 years of age. (Figure 4) These charts showed that our sample population of Rowan University was diverse. After we discovered who made up our sample population, we surveyed students on the factors that contribute to weight gain. We made our questions to reflect some of the research that we found linking weight gain such as alcohol consumption, motivation, eating late, etc. We found that there are a variety of factors that contribute to weight gain amongst Rowan University Students. The top three reasons most college students surveyed believe causes such weight gains were laziness, alcohol, and amount of time to eat healthy food. We found laziness as a surprising cause of weight gain amongst Rowan students. Quite simply, we never expected students to believe that they themselves were lazy, let alone admit that in a survey. This is a revealing statistic. Now that we have evidence showing that students are admittedly lazy, we believe that Our participants also surveyed that they have a significant less amount of time allotted for physical activity compared to high school. This could be due to the fact that in high school, Physical Education class is required, whereas in college, the student has more of a broad selection of courses to take. In addition, some of the non athletes in college could have been high school athletes that did not continue their athletic career into the NCAA. College is supposed to be a time of freedom. According to this survey, however, college students say that they don’t have the time to eat healthy or be physically active. This could be a result of class scheduling. Broad selections in class choices and times enables more time in between classes. Not having a Friday class could affect our participants’ decision to consume alcohol, or stay up late eating junk food on a Thursday night rather than going to bed. Having such time in between classes gives our surveyors ample time to make unhealthy choices, whereas in highschool, everyday was the same schedule. We believe that students do, in fact, have ample time to eat healthy and work out. Unfortunately, students take this time to participate in unhealthy behaviors such as drinking alcohol, eating late, playing video games, watching tv, etc. Our results supported our hypothesis in the beginning. Our statistics on the topic clearly show that the causes in weight gain among college students does vary in reasons behind the matter. However, it is evident that Rowan’s college students should not consume as much alcohol, spend more time in physical activity, and make better food choices if they do not wish to gain weight while in the prime of their life. Rowan University should implement more programs that promote physical activity. It would be beneficial to 75 percent of the population if we got them on their feet and moving. If the status quo here at Rowan University is changed, and students become more active and make healthier choices, lifelong fitness can be instilled in these students. References Brunt, A., Rhee, Y., & Zhong, L. (2008). Differences in Dietary Patterns Among College Students According to Body Mass Index. Journal of American College Health, 56(6), 629-634. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Furia, A., Lee, R., Strother, M., & Huang, T. (2009). College Students' Motivation to Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight. American Journal of Health Behavior, 33(3), 256-263. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Harring, H., Montgomery, K., & Hardin, J. (2010). Perceptions of Body Weight, Weight Management Strategies, and Depressive Symptoms Among US College Students. Journal of American College Health, 59(1), 43-50. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Huang, T., Harris, K., Lee, R., Nazir, N., Born, W., & Kaur, H. (2003). Assessing Overweight, Obesity, Diet, and Physical Activity in College Students. Journal of American College Health, 52(2), 83-86. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Jackson, R., Berry, T., & Kennedy, M. (2009). The Relationship Between Lifestyle And Campus Eating Behaviours In Male And Female University Students. College Student Journal, 43(3), 860-871. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Kasparek, D., Corwin, S., Valois, R., Sargent, R., & Morris, R. (2008). Selected Health Behaviors That Influence College Freshman Weight Change. Journal of American College Health, 56(4), 437-444. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Nelson, M., Lust, K., Story, M., & Ehlinger, E. (2009). Alcohol Use, Eating Patterns, and Weight Behaviors in a University Population. American Journal of Health Behavior, 33(3), 227-237. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Vella-Zarb, R., & Elgar, F. (2009). The ‘Freshman 5’: A Meta-Analysis of Weight Gain in the Freshman Year of College. Journal of American College Health, 58(2), 161-166. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
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