Over 80 percent of college girls surveyed diet to lose weight

Eighty-three per cent of college girls surveyed diet to lose weight, regardless of their current body weight. A study published today in the open access journal Nutrition Journal (http://www.nutritionj.com/) also reveals that college girls practice unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking or skipping breakfast, to lose weight. By contrast, only 19% of them exercise enough to promote weight loss. The authors of the study conclude that all college girls, regardless of whether they are normal weight, overweight or obese, would benefit from counselling or open discussions about healthy dieting practices.

Brenda Malinauskas and colleagues from East Carolina University, Greenville, USA asked 185 college girls about their weight perception, dieting practices and physical activity.

Malinauskas et al. found that 83% of the girls reported trying to control their weight or having tried to control their weight, regardless of whether they were normal weight, overweight or obese. Of the 185 girls studied, 80% reported exercising to lose weight although 32% did not really take part in regular physical activity and only 19% of them actually exercised often and vigorously enough to lose weight. Eating low fat, low sugar foods, eating less than one wants and counting calories were other methods used to lose weight. The most maladaptive weight loss practice reported was smoking to lose weight it was reported by 9% of the girls. The most unhealthy practice reported was skipping breakfast reported by 32% of the girls.

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Article:
Dieting practices, weight perceptions, and body composition: A comparison of normal weight, overweight, and obese college females Brenda M Malinauskas, Thomas D Raedeke, Victor G Aeby, Jean L Smith and Matthew B Dallas
Nutrition Journal (in press)


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