Weight Gain and Dietary Consumption Among Residential and Commuting College Freshmen

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Ashley Albrinck Cathy Stough


By Ashley Albrinck, Psychology

Advisor: Cathy Stough

Presentation ID: AM_B26

Abstract: Weight gain and poor diet are common during the first year of college. However, little is known about whether commuters and on-campus residential freshmen differ in fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption and weight gain during the first year of college. One hundred and seventy-three college freshmen (18-19 years old, 60% female, 97% Non-Hispanic, 83% White) were recruited through Sona System and completed an online survey in Redcap during their second semester of college. The survey assessed weight change since starting college, diet over the past month (National Institutes of Health: Eating at America's Table Study Quick Food Scan), and frequency of current family dinners. ANCOVAs, with the covariate of employment, examined whether commuters and residents varied in FV consumption or weight change during the first year of college. Among commuters, correlations were computed between current frequency of family dinners, FV consumption, and weight change. No differences were found between the commuting and residential freshmen in FV consumption or weight change during the first year of college. Among commuters, greater frequency of family dinners was related to greater fruit consumption (r= .28 ,p=.04), but not weight change or vegetable consumption. Although some students are living on their own with no parental guidance, they are eating any better or worse than those who are still living at home. Among commuters, more frequent family dinners may lead to more frequent reminders and prompts to eat fruits, which may in turn lead to greater fruit consumption.

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AM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- B: Health & Body