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Starting university with high eating self-regulatory skills protects students against unhealthy dietary intake and substantial weight gain over 6 months

Kliemann, N; Croker, H; Johnson, F; Beeken, RJ; (2018) Starting university with high eating self-regulatory skills protects students against unhealthy dietary intake and substantial weight gain over 6 months. Eating Behaviors , 31 pp. 105-112. 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2018.09.003. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is consistent evidence that suggests first year students are at risk of weight gain, but the reasons for this vulnerability are still unclear. This study aimed to explore whether the ability to regulate eating behaviours is a predictor of weight and dietary changes in first year undergraduate students. METHODS: First year undergraduate students from universities situated in London were invited to complete a survey at the beginning of the academic year and at 6-month follow-up. Each survey included the Self-Regulation of Eating Behaviour Questionnaire, food frequency questions, socio-demographic questions and anthropometric questions. Linear and logistic regressions were performed to explore the associations between baseline eating self-regulatory skills and weight and dietary changes. RESULTS: 481 first year undergraduate students took part in the study. Students who entered university with higher eating self-regulatory skills were more likely to maintain or achieve a higher fruit and vegetable (OR = 1.8, p = 0.007) and a lower sweet and salty snack (OR = 1.9, p = 0.001) intake over the course of the first 6 months in university. Higher baseline eating self-regulatory skills were also related to lower weight changes (β = -0.15, p = 0.018) and lower likelihood of gaining 5% initial body weight (OR = 0.52, p = 0.006) at 6-month. Additionally, self-regulatory skills moderated the relationship between baseline BMI and weight changes (β = -0.25, p ≤0.001) and between baseline BMI and 5% weight gain (OR = 0.82, p = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: Starting university with higher eating self-regulatory skills may help students to maintain or achieve a healthy diet and protect them against substantial weight gain, especially among students with overweight.

Type: Article
Title: Starting university with high eating self-regulatory skills protects students against unhealthy dietary intake and substantial weight gain over 6 months
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2018.09.003
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2018.09.003
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Keywords: Eating behaviours, Freshman year, Population studies, Self-regulation, Weight change
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056986
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