Alcohol use, eating patterns, and weight behaviors in a university population

Melissa C. Nelson, Katherine Lust, Mary Story, Ed Ehlinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Objective: To explore associations between alcohol, alcohol-related eating, and weight-related health indicators. Methods: Cross-sectional, multivariate regression of weight behaviors, binge drinking, and alcohol-related eating, using self-reported student survey data (n=3206 undergraduates/ graduates). Results: Binge drinking was associated with poor diets, unhealthy weight control, body dissatisfaction, and sedentary behavior. Neither year in school nor age modified these relationships. Alcohol-related eating was associated with increased risk of overweight/obesity. Conclusions: Binge drinking was associated with an array of adverse behaviors. These associations did not differ between undergraduate and graduate students. Initiatives are needed to assist students in overcoming campus norms promoting unhealthy alcohol and dietary patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-237
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Alcohol drinking
  • College health
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Obesity


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