Binge eating and weight loss behaviors of overweight and obese college students

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Purpose-To investigate binge eating (BE) and weight-related behaviors in overweight and obese college students.

Data sources-This was a secondary analysis of data from 487 overweight and obese college-age students from a private university in the northeastern United States.

Conclusions-BE was reported by 34.9% of students. Only 6.2% of participants reported the use of compensatory behaviors (i.e., self-induced vomiting, laxative, or diuretic use) to prevent weight gain. BE was associated with smoking and exercising to lose weight. Gender differences emerged from the data as women were more likely to report being obese, the use of compensatory behaviors, and to perceive themselves as moderately or extremely overweight.

Implications for practice-BE is a significant problem on college campuses and is associated with the development of obesity and eating disorders. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are in an excellent position to effect change in this population through their frequent contact with young adults in community and school-based venues. NPs are well-prepared to identify at-risk college students and provide them with individualized care, education, and support.


Copyright 2013 Wiley

Publication Title

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Published Citation

Kelly-Weeder, Susan, Kathryn Phillips, Kelly Leonard, and Margaret Veroneau, "Binge eating and weight loss behaviors of overweight and obese college students". Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2013 DOI: 10.1002/2327-6924.12070