Sex Differences Among Physical Activity, Dietary Intake, Weight-Related Health Risks, and Food Security in Racially-Diverse College Students

Date
2018
Authors
Adeniji, Shirley
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Abstract

Dietary intake (DI) and physical activity (PA) are key factors in improving and maintaining health. College is an ideal time for young adults to practice healthy behaviors to prevent risk of disease in the future. It has been proven that consistent PA and DI are directly related to improved health, but more evidence is needed to understand the role of sex, food insecurity (FI), and acculturation in college students. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate sex differences of weight-related health risks, DI, and PA, and its relationship to FI among college students at University of Texas at San Antonio, and to determine if there is any association between the acculturation of Hispanic students with these factors. General demographic data collected were age, ethnicity, and classification. Self-measured height, weight, waist and hip circumference were used to calculate body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio. DI was measured via food frequency questionnaire, PA via International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), FI using the Modified US Adult Food Security Survey, and acculturation of Hispanic students by the Short Acculturation Scale for Hispanics (SASH). Chi-squared and Kruskal-Wallis statistical analyses were used to determine statistical difference between data. Ninety-four students participated in this study with majority of participants being female (n=58, 62%), upperclassman (n=55, 100%), Hispanic (n=28, 50.9%) or White (n=12, 21.8%), ages 20-25 (n=52, 89.7%, mean age=22.53), with BMI in the normal range (n=33, 56.9%), and not at risk/low risk via waist circumference (n=44, 75.9%) or waist-to-hip ratio (n=30, 51.7%). Females were more likely to have an at-risk waist circumference (n=10, 17.2%, p=0.00) than males. Majority of participants did not meet DI for fiber, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, magnesium, potassium, thiamin, calcium, iron, zinc, and choline, but were classified as food secure (n=51, 54.3%). The population surveyed was 48.9% (n=44) Hispanic, with 61.4% (n=27) of surveyed Hispanic students reporting higher levels of acculturation. Acculturation status and ethnicity was not associated with DI, PA, or FI. In this study, FI was associated with carbohydrates (CHO), calcium, and folate and BMI. BMI was associated waist circumference, but not with DI and PA. Future implications of this study could lead to larger studies dedicated to further investigating the relationships between the nutrient intake, acculturation, FI and PA.

Description
This item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff.
Keywords
acculturation, college students, dietary intake, food security, health risk, physical activity
Citation
Department
Health and Kinesiology