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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Issue 3, pp e109–e114 | Cite as

Exploring the prevalence and correlates of meeting health behaviour guidelines among university students

  • Tanya M. F. ScarapicchiaEmail author
  • Catherine M. Sabiston
  • Guy Faulkner
Quantitative Research

Abstract

Objective

To examine the prevalence of students meeting physical activity, diet and smoking health recommendations and to examine the correlates of meeting these guidelines.

Methods

Randomly selected students at the University of Toronto (N = 2,812; female = 71.60%, mean age = 22.11 ±5.24 years, mean body mass index = 22.80 kg/m2) completed the National College Health Assessment-ll survey in spring of 2013.

Results

Only 0.1 % of the sample reported meeting physical activity, diet and non-smoking guidelines. Males were more likely than females to meet physical activity and both physical activity and fruit and vegetable guidelines (X2 [1, 2812] = 7.33, p < 0.05). Women were more likely than men to be non-smokers (X2 [1,2812] = 7.80, p < 0.05). Being overweight was associated with meeting physical activity guidelines. Being a healthy weight was associated with meeting both physical activity and fruit and vegetable guidelines (X2 [1,2812] = 6.29, p < 0.05). Underweight participants were more likely to be non-smokers (X2 [2, 2812] = 6.36, p < 0.05). In the logistic regression, being Caucasian and male and trying to change weight were correlated with meeting moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and strength training guidelines. Being older, Caucasian and trying to change weight were correlates of consuming greater than five fruits and vegetables per day. Beings Caucasian, female, and trying to change weight were correlates of being a non-smoker.

Conclusion

University health promotion programs should be targeted to specific age, ethnicity and weight status groups, as there are distinct differences among those not meeting physical activity, diet and non-smoking guidelines.

Key words

Young adults exercise dietary guidelines body mass index sex 

Résumé

Objectif

Examiner la prévalence des étudiants qui respectent les recommandations sanitaires sur l’activité physique, le régime alimentaire et le non-tabagisme et examiner les corrélats du respect de ces lignes directrices.

Méthode

Des étudiants de l’Université de Toronto sélectionnés au hasard (N = 2 812; femmes = 71,60 %, âge moyen = 22,11 ± 5,24 ans, indice de masse corporelle moyen = 22,80 kg/m2) ont rempli le questionnaire National College Health Assessment-11 au printemps 201 3.

Résultats

À peine 0,1 % de l’échantillon ont donné des réponses conformes aux lignes directrices sur l’activité physique, le régime et le non-tabagisme. Les hommes étaient plus susceptibles que les femmes de respecter les lignes directrices sur l’activité physique, et à la fois celles sur l’activité physique et la consommation de fruits et légumes (X2 [1, 2812] = 7,33, p < 0,05). Les femmes étaient plus susceptibles que les hommes de ne pas fumer (X2 [1,2812] = 7,80, p < 0,05). Le surpoids était associé au respect des lignes directrices sur l’activité physique. Le poids-santé était associé au respect des lignes directrices sur l’activité physique et sur la consommation de fruits et légumes (X2 [1,2812] = 6,29, p < 0,05). Les participants de poids insuffisant étaient plus susceptibles d’être non-fumeurs (X2 [2, 2812] = 6,36, p < 0,05). Selon l’analyse de régression logistique, les faits d’être un homme, d’être blanc et d’essayer de modifier son poids étaient corrélés avec le respect des consignes d’activité physique modérée à vigoureuse et d’entraînement musculaire. Les faits d’être plus âgé, d’être blanc et d’essayer de modifier son poids étaient corrélés avec la consommation de plus de cinq fruits et légumes par jour. Les faits d’être blanc, d’être une femme et d’essayer de modifier son poids étaient corrélés avec le statut de non-fumeur.

Conclusion

Les programmes de promotion de la santé à l’université devraient cibler des groupes d’âge, d’ethnicité et de statut pondéral particuliers, car il y a de nettes différences entre les personnes qui ne respectent pas les lignes directrices sur l’activité physique, le régime et le non-tabagisme.

Mots Clés

jeune adulte exercice physique directives nutritionnelles indice de masse corporelle sexe 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya M. F. Scarapicchia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Catherine M. Sabiston
    • 1
  • Guy Faulkner
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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