Physical activity and smoking habits in relation to weight status among Lebanese university students

Najat Yahia, Abbass Abdallah, Alice Achkar, Sandra Rizk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Understanding factors that impact overweight or obesity is an essential step towards formulating programs to prevent or control obesity in young adults. Thus, we aim to assess the prevalence of physical activity and smoking habits in relation to weight status among a sample of university students. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 220 students, chosen randomly from the Lebanese American University campus, using a self reported questionnaire that included age, field of study, physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire) and smoking habits. Anthropometric measurements were taken to calculate body mass index. Adiposity measure was determined as percentage body fat using bioelectrical impedance. Results: This study showed that the majority of the students were physically active. Vigorous-intensity physical activity practice was observed more among male than female students. Overweight students showed lower physical activity levels compared to normal weight students and higher percentage of body fat. The majority of students reported that they never smoked. Smokers in general were of normal weight than overweight. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the prevalence of physical activity among students was high and it was associated with students' weight status; whereas, smoking was uncommon. Promoting physical activity, as a weight control strategy, among students especially females is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Health Research
Volume3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Body fat
  • Body mass index
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking

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