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Fit Into College: A Program to Improve Physical Activity and Dietary Intake Lifestyles Among College Students

69 – 78

The purpose of this study was to determine whether a 10-week program could improve physical activity, physical fitness, body weight, dietary intake, and perceptions of exercise and diet among college 30 healthy college freshmen. Outcomes were measured at baseline, and following the 10-week program. The weekly sessions incorporated constructs of the Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change and were administered by fitness interns who were junior or senior college students enrolled in health-related majors. The participants presented with low physical activity, physical fitness, and poor dietary intake, and 50% were overweight/obese (BMI > 25). Participants demonstrated gains in their physical fitness and their perceived benefits to engaging in exercise and decreased their perceived barriers to engaging in exercise and a healthy diet. College freshmen presented with low levels of physical activity, poor dietary intake, and excess body weight. A peer-administered program can improve these measures and favorably change perceptions of exercise and diet.

Keywords: freshmen, obesity, exercise, diet, health

Authors: Robert Topp, Jean S. Edward, S. Lee Ridner, Dean E. Jacks, Karen S. Newton, Patricia Keiffner, Deborah Woodall, Kathleen P. Conte

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