Measuring Health of College Students: Food Security, Diet Quality, and Physical Activity
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Thanawala, Ninad; Rubinow, Dave; Roga, Zachary; Liou, Harris
A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess food security, diet quality, and physical activity in college students using a sample of NHANES data on the United States. Prevalence rates of participants achieving full food security, >50 Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2010 composite score, and >150 minutes moderate or vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per week were measured. Results showed that 28.8% of college students were food insecure, 34.5% had an above-50 HEI score, and 58.2% achieve adequate physical activity per week. In comparison, adults in the general population have lower rates of food insecurity (22.4%), higher rates HEI above 50 (42.2%), and lower rates of adequate physical activity (35.6%), with p<0.05 for all comparisons. These findings suggest that interventions to improve students’ food access and diet quality may be important to implement by institutions of higher education.
College Health; College Nutrition; College Food Security; College Physical Activity; NHANES
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