College-based obesity prevention interventions

College-based obesity prevention interventions aim to set long-term behavioral patterns during the transition to adulthood through behavioral education efforts (CG-Physical activity).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Increased physical activity

  • Improved physical fitness

Other Potential Beneficial Outcomes

  • Improved weight status

  • Improved health-related knowledge

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether college-based obesity prevention programs increase physical activity or physical fitness (CG-Physical activity, CG-Obesity). Available evidence suggests that college-based obesity prevention programs may increase physical activity and physical fitness in the short-term, but gains fade over time (CG-Physical activity, Hivert 2007). Online obesity prevention interventions combined with feedback may prevent weight gain among college freshman (Gow 2010, Levitsky 2006) and web-based nutrition education programs for college students may increase nutrition knowledge (Watt 2006). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

Impact on Disparities

No impact on disparities likely

Implementation Examples

The Wellspring Academy is a college-based obesity prevention program that offers the opportunity to earn college credits at Reedley College while focusing on weight loss and healthy living.

Citations - Evidence

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CG-Physical activity - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Physical activity.

CG-Obesity - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Obesity.

Gow 2010 - Gow RW, Trace SE, Mazzeo SE. Preventing weight gain in first year college students: An online intervention to prevent the “freshman fifteen.” Eating Behaviors. 2010;11(1):33–9.

Hivert 2007 - Hivert M-F, Langlois M-F, Bérard P, Cuerrier J-P, Carpentier A. Prevention of weight gain in young adults through a seminar-based intervention program. International Journal of Obesity. 2007;31(8):1262–9.

Watt 2006 - Watt M, Franko DL, Cunningham JA, et al. Benefits of web-based nutrition education for college students. American Public Health Association (APHA) 134th Annual Meeting and Exposition, November 4-8 2006.

Levitsky 2006 - Levitsky D, Garay J, Nausbaum M, Neighbors L, DellaValle D. Monitoring weight daily blocks the freshman weight gain: A model for combating the epidemic of obesity. International Journal of Obesity. 2006;30(6):1003–10.

Citations - Implementation Examples

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

Wellspring Academy - Wellspring Academies. Wellspring Academy college program.

Date Last Updated

Jan 10, 2014