Health

Loneliness associated with unhealthy diet and physical inactivity in US college students


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Credit: CC0 . Public Domain

Using data from the Mason: Health Starts Here study, the researchers found that students who reported higher levels of loneliness also reported higher levels of sedentary behavior and low activity.

Moving to a new environment, like many college freshmen, can increase feelings of loneliness and feelings of loneliness in college student has increased dramatically over the past decade, according to the National Collegiate Health Review. In addition, a survey in 2021 reported that 44% of American universities pupil describe their weight as more than normal, i.e. overweight or obese. Although loneliness is associated with unhealthy weight and less physical activity, there is still a lack of research on dietary behavior in college students and its role in obesity in college students. learn.

With data from Mason: Health Starts Here roteNutritionist Li Jiang found that loneliness was associated with altered diet quality and physical inactivity. The research was conducted as part of Jiang’s master’s thesis, and the Chairman of the Mason Department of Food and Nutrition Studies, Lawrence J. Cheskin, Associate Professor Lilian de Jonge, former faculty member Cara Frankenfeld, and former researcher Postdoctoral fellow Ziaul H. Rana also contributed to the project.

“Our study supports the potential need for further research to understand unhealthy eating behavior and physical activity may be related to loneliness, an emotion that affects many college students,” Jiang said.

Sedentary (19.2%) and inactive (53.8%) behaviors were more common among students who reported high levels of loneliness (scores ranged from 4–6 and 7–9 ) compared with students who reported low levels of loneliness (scores 10-12). Students who reported more loneliness had a high-fat diet than students who reported less loneliness.

“Interventions to reduce loneliness can have a positive effect on improve health in this population. This data is consistent with other early findings from the Health Starts Here study that college students are not meeting guidelines for a healthy diet or enough physical activity,” said Cheskin, who holds an MD. said.

This study is a cross-sectional baseline analysis data collected in the first batch of Mason: Health Start Here in 2019 and funded by the George Mason University Biohealth Innovation Institute.

“Loneliness is associated with unhealthy eating behaviors and physical inactivity in US college students” Published in November 2022 in the magazine American Medical Journal.

Mason: Health starts here is an interdisciplinary first of its kind pupil Cohort study to understand and improve the health and well-being of college students. This study will follow a large number of young adults, specifically Mason students, over time to capture the diversity of their college experiences and how that experience affects health and well-being. their.

More information:
Li Jiang et al., Loneliness is associated with unhealthy eating behaviors and physical inactivity in US college students, American Medical Journal (2022). DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2141060

quote: Loneliness associated with unhealthy diet and physical inactivity in US college students (2023, 20 January) retrieved 21 January 2023 from https://medicalxpress .com/news/2023-01-loneliness-unhealthful-diets-physical-inactivity.html

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