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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7425-7441; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707425

Prevalence of Overweight/Obesity and Its Associated Factors among University Students from 22 Countries

1
ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Madidol University, Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhonpathom 73170, Thailand
2
Department of Psychology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
3
HIV/AIDS/STIs and TB (HAST) Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council, Private Bag X41, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
4
Department of Research, University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
5
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, P.O. Box 64, Bridgetown 11000, Barbados
6
Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Health Science, Istanbul University, Bakirkoy, Istanbul 34740, Turkey
7
Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidad de Pamplona, Pamplona 0, Colombia
8
Research and Training Laboratory of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Antananarivo, Antananarivo 001, Madagascar
9
School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, 16, Medical Drive, Singapore 117597, Singapore
10
Centre for Sociological Studies, Moscow State University, Moscow 119991, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 10 July 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
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Abstract

Obesity among young people increases lifetime cardiovascular risk. This study assesses the prevalence of overweight/obesity and its associated factors among a random sample of university students from 22 universities in 22 low, middle income and emerging economy countries. This cross-sectional survey comprised of a self-administered questionnaire and collected anthropometric measurements. The study population was 6773 (43.2%) males and 8913 (56.8%) females, aged 16 to 30 years (mean 20.8 years, SD = 2.6). Body mass index (BMI) was used for weight status. Among men, the prevalence of underweight was 10.8%, normal weight 64.4%, overweight 18.9% and obesity 5.8%, while among women, the prevalence of underweight was 17.6%, normal weight 62.1%, overweight 14.1% and obesity 5.2%. Overall, 22% were overweight or obese (24.7% men and 19.3% women). In multivariate regression among men, younger age, coming from a higher income country, consciously avoiding fat and cholesterol, physically inactivity, current tobacco use and childhood physical abuse, and among women older age, coming from a higher income country, frequent organized religious activity, avoiding fat and cholesterol, posttraumatic stress symptoms and physical childhood abuse were associated overweight or obesity. Several gender specific risk factors identified can be utilized in health promotion programmes. View Full-Text
Keywords: overweight; obesity; body mass index; dietary pattern; social determinants; health behaviour; mental health; childhood abuse; university students; 22 countries overweight; obesity; body mass index; dietary pattern; social determinants; health behaviour; mental health; childhood abuse; university students; 22 countries
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Peltzer, K.; Pengpid, S.; Samuels, T.A.; Özcan, N.K.; Mantilla, C.; Rahamefy, O.H.; Wong, M.L.; Gasparishvili, A. Prevalence of Overweight/Obesity and Its Associated Factors among University Students from 22 Countries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 7425-7441.

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