Lifestyle behavior changes from high school to freshman year: An international longitudinal study
Used data: 1441 freshman students from China, Taiwan, Thailand and United States were assessed in the beginning and the end of the fall semester.
Methods: Lifestyle behaviors, such as dietary behavior, physical activity, tobacco usage, alcohol consumption and sleep habit, were assessed by questionnaires. High school lifestyle behaviors were assessed in the beginning of the fall semester, while lifestyle behaviors in college were assessed by the end of the fall semester. ANOVA, t-test and regression models were used to identify significant differences and associations.
Results: Overall, the lifestyle of college students put them at the increased risk of chronic disease. All college students reported drinking significantly more alcohol after entering college. Significant differences in lifestyle behaviors were observed between students from China, Taiwan, Thailand, or United States. After entering college, students in China, Taiwan and Unite States reported consuming significantly less fruits and vegetables; students in China and United States reported participating in significantly less moderate or vigorous physical activity; students in China, Thailand and United States. reported using more tobacco; and Asian students reported sleeping significantly better while the American students reported sleeping worse.
Recommendations: All universities should be aware of the importance of promoting healthy lifestyle among college students, prevent alcohol and tobacco consumptions, and promote nutrition and physical activity. Priorities should be given to different topics and strategies, based on the specific needs of the local students.
Learning Areas:Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Describe the longitudinal changes in lifestyle behaviors upon entering college among students from China, Taiwan, Thailand and United States. Identify social and environmental factors that were significantly associated with the longitudinal behavioral changes. Compare lifestyle behavior changes and related factors across different economic districts. Compare lifestyle behaviors changes and related factors across different economic statuses.
Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, College Students
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have authored and presented numerous studies in health promotion and education.
For more than 20 years, I have been teaching at Indiana University's School of Public Health. Conferences in selected Asian countries have invited me to be their keynote speaker. I have taught health promotion program planning at several universities. Adolescent health, mental health and school health are my main research areas.
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.