Dominican University of California
 

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Presentation or Panel Title

Cultural Nutritional Intake and Body Mass Index among College Students at Dominican University of California

Location

Guzman Lecture Hall

Start Date

4-15-2016 4:30 PM

End Date

4-15-2016 5:30 PM

Department

Public Health

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor

Michaela George, Ph.D., MPH

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Obesity is rising as a public health issue with more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults being obese (CDC 1). Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (CDC 2). BMI is calculated by using as person's weight in kilograms, then divided by the square of height in meters. BMI can be used as a screening tool of body fatness or overall physical health of an individual but is not used to make diagnoses (CDC 2). Obesity is both an outcome and a risk factor for increased morbidity and premature mortality (Kopelman). For example, Owen et al. found that obesity is a risk factor for myocardial infarction, stroke, and type two diabetes (Owen). Researchers are investigating how to prevent these diseases and reduce the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S., which was $147 billion in 2008. Furthermore, on average, medical costs for individuals who are obese are $1,429 higher than those of normal weight on an annual basis (CDC). Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Healthy People 2020, are committed to findin solutions to the obesity epidemic. For example, poor nutrition is a major risk factor that can lead to obesity. Therefore, better general knowledge about what to eat in order to stay at a healthy weight and having accessibility to affordable healthy foods can help reduce the rates of obesity (Story). While research has been conducted to associate poor dietary habits to obesity, one aspect that requires more examination is the cultural influence of nutrition and how that may affect an individual’s eating habits, and subsequently their BMI. Furthermore, there may be an association between generational cultures living in the U.S. and reinforcing poor eating habits to younger generations (Boeckner). The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential association between cultural eating habits as measured by an adapted food frequency questionnaire and current self-reported BMI within college students at Dominican University of California. I am hopeful to find a similarity between a students cultural background and their eating habits to help further help in understanding why excessive weight gain at this vulnerable time is so prevalent.

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Apr 15th, 4:30 PM Apr 15th, 5:30 PM

Cultural Nutritional Intake and Body Mass Index among College Students at Dominican University of California

Guzman Lecture Hall

Obesity is rising as a public health issue with more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults being obese (CDC 1). Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (CDC 2). BMI is calculated by using as person's weight in kilograms, then divided by the square of height in meters. BMI can be used as a screening tool of body fatness or overall physical health of an individual but is not used to make diagnoses (CDC 2). Obesity is both an outcome and a risk factor for increased morbidity and premature mortality (Kopelman). For example, Owen et al. found that obesity is a risk factor for myocardial infarction, stroke, and type two diabetes (Owen). Researchers are investigating how to prevent these diseases and reduce the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S., which was $147 billion in 2008. Furthermore, on average, medical costs for individuals who are obese are $1,429 higher than those of normal weight on an annual basis (CDC). Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Healthy People 2020, are committed to findin solutions to the obesity epidemic. For example, poor nutrition is a major risk factor that can lead to obesity. Therefore, better general knowledge about what to eat in order to stay at a healthy weight and having accessibility to affordable healthy foods can help reduce the rates of obesity (Story). While research has been conducted to associate poor dietary habits to obesity, one aspect that requires more examination is the cultural influence of nutrition and how that may affect an individual’s eating habits, and subsequently their BMI. Furthermore, there may be an association between generational cultures living in the U.S. and reinforcing poor eating habits to younger generations (Boeckner). The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential association between cultural eating habits as measured by an adapted food frequency questionnaire and current self-reported BMI within college students at Dominican University of California. I am hopeful to find a similarity between a students cultural background and their eating habits to help further help in understanding why excessive weight gain at this vulnerable time is so prevalent.