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Effect of the Summer Months on Body Weight and Composition in College Women

Hull, Holly R., Morrow, Michelle L., Heesch, Kristiann, Dinger, Mary K., Han, Jennifer L., & Fields, David A. (2007) Effect of the Summer Months on Body Weight and Composition in College Women. Journal of Women's Health, 16(10), p. 1510.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: College students and young adults are experiencing the greatest increases in rates of obesity, and 20% of college students are classified as obese. The objective of this study was to compare changes and rates of change in body weight and body composition between the freshman academic year and the summer after the freshman year among female college students.

METHODS: Participants were recruited early in their freshman year of college to participate in a prospective longitudinal study examining changes in body weight and composition over the college years. Height and weight were measured, and body composition was assessed using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) at the beginning and end of the freshman year. Upon return from the summer for their sophomore year, participants returned to have all measurements repeated. Sixty-nine female participants completed all three visits.

RESULTS: Body weight increased 1.3 kg during the academic period and an additional 0.1 kg during the summer period. Body mass index (BMI) increased between the first two visits but did not change between the last two visits. However, percent fat increased at each visit. Fat-free mass significantly increased 0.5 kg over the academic year but decreased by 1.1 kg over the summer (p<0.05). Greater rates of change were detected in percent fat, fat-free mass, and BMI during the summer compared with the academic year (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Differences in body composition between the academic and summer periods may reflect changes in living situations between these periods. Unfavorable changes during the summer suggest the need to promote healthy lifestyles to freshman women before they leave campus for the summer

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
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8 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 38238
Item Type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2006.0329
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Primary Health Care (111717)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2010 10:23
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2014 11:40

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