Relation of aerobic fitness, eating behavior and physical activity to body composition in college-age women: A path analysis

Chaise Murphy, Shinya Takahashi, Jim Bovaird, Karsten Koehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Given the number of college students with a normal BMI decreases 9-12% throughout the college experience, we wanted to model the traits responsible for behaviors impacting body composition in college-age women. Participants: Participants (n = 141) were recruited from a freshman-level nutrition course between August 2016 and May 2018. Methods: We built a path analysis model using variables from online questionnaires and lab visits. We grouped participants by median split of aerobic fitness and evaluated model fit. We defined statistical significance as p <.05. Results: The model provided an adequate representation of the data (CFI = 0.921). Aerobic fitness was the strongest predictor of body fat (p <.001) in both high-fit (–0.440) and low-fit (–0.469) women. Body dissatisfaction demonstrated relationships with body fat previously established in athletes and clinical populations. Conclusion: Physical activity to improve aerobic fitness appears most effective at maintaining healthy body composition in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of American College Health
Volume69
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Aerobic fitness
  • body composition
  • body dissatisfaction
  • drive for thinness
  • path analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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