252498 Examining Regional Variations in Nutrition and Physical Activity among Undergraduate College Students in the United States, 2008-2009

Monday, October 31, 2011

Andrea M. Brace, MS, CHES , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Richard Christiana Jr., MA , College of Public Health, Health Promotion and Behavior Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Marsha Davis, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
This study analyzes the relationship between nutritional practices among undergraduate college students by geographic region in the United States in the spring semester 2008 and fall semester 2009 (N=107,925). Health behavior data were obtained from the National College Health Assessment II, which was conducted by the American College Health Association. Data included information on self described weight, calculated body mass index, and the number of servings of fruits and vegetables consumed per day. These aggregated data included students attending colleges and universities in the United States, and were broken down by age, gender, year in school, enrollment status, living situation, employment status, and race-ethnicity status. Data were also broken down by four regions in the United States (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West) based on the location of the colleges or universities. Data were analyzed using spatial visualization, descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and analysis of variance. The analysis reveals that statistically significant differences in fruit and vegetable consumption occur across geographic regions. The Northeast had the highest reported consumption of fruits and vegetables when compared to the other geographic regions. Similar results emerge when examining differences in gender, year in school, and enrollment status. Findings indicate that these variables should be considered when examining student health status. These findings can be used for programming and policy development in the university setting.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
To compare differences in the nutritional intake of undergraduate students across regions of the United States

Keywords: Nutrition, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a third year doctoral student at the University of Georgia and I have been well trained in research methods through course work. I also have over five years of program evaluation experience.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.