Evaluation of Lifestyle of Underweight, Normal Weight and Overweight Young Women

Iwona Wronka, Edyta Suliga, Romana Pawlińska-Chmara


The aim of this study was to compare eating and lifestyle habits between underweight, normal weight and overweight young women. Data obtained from a survey of 1129 students of the three higher education institutions in Kielce, Kraków and Opole (Southern Poland) were analysed. BMI was used to define underweight, overweight and obesity. Eating and lifestyle habits were assessed based on the information received from surveyed students. The study group consisted of women of childbearing-age and a special attention was paid to analyse habits correlated with the risk factor for pregnant women (low consumption of dairy products, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, cigarette smoking, alcohol and caffeine intake). In the studied group, the prevalence of underweight was higher than the prevalence of overweight and obesity (11.1% vs. 7.0%). There were no significant differences in nutritional habits between the three weight groups. The responding students, regardless their weight status, presented numerous unhealthy eating habits. Underweight students more frequently took multivitamin supplements, less frequently followed an alternative diet, smoked cigarettes or drank larger amounts of coffee than normal weight and overweight women. Underweight and normal weight women more frequently participated in sports activities than overweight and obese women. However, 39.2 percent of the surveyed women declared that they seldom or never perform any sport activities. The results show that majority of young women present numerous unhealthy behaviours. Unhealthy habits occur with the same frequency among underweight students as among normal weight students or overweight ones


: underweight, overweight, nutritional habits, physical activity

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