Disparities in overweight and obesity among US college students

Toben F. Nelson, Steven L. Gortmaker, S. V. Subramanian, Lilian Cheung, Henry Wechsler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine social disparities and behavioral correlates of overweight and obesity over time among college students. Methods: Multilevel analyses of BMI, physical activity, and television viewing from 2 representative surveys of US college students (n=24,613). Results: Overweight and obesity increased over time and were higher among males, African Americans, and students of lower socioeconomic position and lower among Asians. Television viewing and in activity were associated with obesity, and disparities in these behaviors partially accounted for excess weight among African Americans. Conclusions: Social disparities in overweight and obesity exist among college students. Promoting physical activity and reducing television viewing may counteract increasing trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-373
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • College students
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Social disparities
  • Television viewing


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