Leila VirgÃnia da Silva PRADO1, Gabriela Maria Pereira FLORO ARCOVERDE1, Maria Lucia DINIZ ARAÃ?JO2, Gisele ALMEIDA DE NORONHA2, Palena CABRAL DA SILVA2, Maria da ConceiÃ§Ã£o CHAVES DE LEMOS1, Marina de Moraes VASCONCELOS PETRIBÃ?1, Poliana COELHO CABRAL1
Objective: The objective of the present study was to investigate dietary intake and the level of physical activity as predictors of changes in weight and body mass index (BMI) of students at a public university in Northeast Brazil.
Methods: This was a cohort, where 138 students were assessed at the beginning of the course and after 1 year of academic life. Body weight and height, data on the level of physical activity and food consumption were collected. The conceptual model also considered sociodemographic, behavioral, body composition and body fat distribution variables.
Results: The sample was 76.1% female, with a mean age of 19.7 ± 3.3 years at baseline. At the end of the follow-up, 50.7% of university students gained more than 0.5 kg of weight, among them, the average weight gain was 2.87 ± 2.01 kg. In students who had a baseline consumption ≤ once a week of raw salad and ≤ once a day of cooked fruits and vegetables, the chance of weight gain was 3.06; 2.57 and 2.49 respectively. There was a negative correlation between the annual variation in weight and the variation in the consumption of fruits, raw salad and cooked vegetables. On the other hand, there was a positive correlation with the consumption of sausages, snacks and sweets. Similar behavior was observed with the variation in body mass index (BMI).
Conclusion: The influence of physical activity on weight gain was not identified. However, the dietary pattern in the baseline and that practiced during the year of entry into the university influenced the weight and BMI of the students.