Factors that influence eating behavior of young adults

Excessive weight gain is associated with increased risk of developing many serious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Young adults are at a uniquely increased risk for weight gain because of rapidly changing social situations that influence eating and exercise behaviors. Despite extensive efforts to promote weight management, these efforts only reach a small proportion of the population at risk and even effective programs promoting individual behavior change may have limited effectiveness in environments that promote weight gain. Research is needed to elucidate the combination of individual and environmental factors associated with unhealthy weight gain among college students. This research involves environmental and behavioral assessments and investigations of the interaction between these factors as they related to the food behavior of young adult college students. The goal will be to develop a prototype Healthy Campus Index that can be used for tailoring intervention strategies that have both an environmental and individual focus. Identification of the individual factors and the necessary environmental factors to support the individual change is the first step in the development of indexes for comparisons and benchmarking to support policies and programs for behavior change on college campuses and communities.

Investigator: White, A.

Unit: School of Food and Agriculture

Termination Date: 30-Sep-16