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Freshman weight gain: Women with heavy roommates gain less
Date:9/21/2010

fall semester, the researchers obtained the women's weight and height, and asked about weight management behaviors. These included whether they had tried to lose weight at any time during the previous year, the average number of times per week they went to the gym and exercised outside, and whether they had signed up for an unlimited college meal plan.

The topic of peer influences on weight gain and weight management is important since obesity prevalence in young adults, aged 18 to 29, increased by 96 percent from 1988 to 2006---the largest percentage increase for all age groups.

Another study Kapinos and Yakusheva conducted found that freshmen assigned to dormitories with onsite dining halls gained more weight than those who had to venture outside of their dorms for food. Later this fall, the researchers will expand their study of the issue by analyzing a larger sample of students at a public university to see if roommate weight patterns persist. They will also examine other environmental influences and see if the findings vary with race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

"Our hope is that this line of research will have practical implications for university administrators and more generally for public health efforts aimed at reducing obesity," Kapinos said.


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Contact: Diane Swanbrow
swanbrow@umich.edu
734-647-9069
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

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