Term of Award

Fall 2005

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Anthony V. Parrillo

Committee Member 1

Stuart H. Tedders

Committee Member 2

Steve Elliott

Committee Member 3

Padmini Shankar

Abstract

This study examined relationships between receipt of health information, body mass index (BMI), and dietary and physical activity behaviors in a sample of university students (n=1,799). A cross-sectional design assessed health-risk behaviors. Students were placed into dichotomous categories related to receipt of health information, then grouped by risk and non-risk for each dependent behavioral variable; descriptive statistics were then generated. Odds ratios assessed relationships between receipt of health information and activity, diet, and nutrition for normal-weight and overweight students; odds ratios also assessed associations between BMI and diet and activity behaviors. Post-hoc analyses were also conducted. Students who received health information were more likely to: attempt weight-loss; diet; exercise at recommended levels; and eat well. Normal-weight students behaved more optimally than overweight students after receiving health information. Health messages may provide limited benefits regarding health-promoting behaviors; information should be but one component of a comprehensive strategy to target high-risk students.

Share

COinS