The Current Conditions and Lifestyles of Obese University Students

Natsumi Morito, Yasunori Suematsu, Rie Koyoshi, Yuhei Shiga, Takashi Kuwano, Atsushi Iwata, Kanta Fujimi, Akira Kawamura, Shin-ichiro Miura


Background: The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in Japan remains high, and the onset becomes early. Studies on the current conditions and lifestyles of obese university students may support early interventions to achieve lifestyle modification.

Methods and Results: The results of periodic health examinations in 32,262 first-year university students revealed that 2,036 (6.3%) were obese. We performed a more detailed examination in 221 of these obese students (165 males and 56 females, age 19 ± 1 years) with study agreement from 2014 to 2016. In this study cohort, the percentage of students who exercised regularly was significantly higher among males than females. Body fat in males with well-exercised was lower than that in males with no exercise. In addition, serum level of high-density cholesterol in males with well-exercised was higher. Among females, there were no significant differences in these parameters between exercisers and non-exercisers. Forty-two obese students (40 males and two females) met the diagnostic criteria of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Among males, levels of body fat, uric acid, liver enzyme and insulin resistance in the MetS group were significantly higher than those in the non-MetS group. The average ratio of eicosapentaenoic acid to arachidonic acid (EPA/AA) was low (0.14).

Conclusions: Although the proportions of students with obesity and/or MetS were not high, the EPA/AA ratio in obese young males was low, which may be associated with a high risk of coronary atherosclerosis. To prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases early intervention to achieve lifestyle modification may be important.

J Clin Med Res. 2018;10(3):240-246



Lifestyle-related diseases; University students; Cardiovascular disease; Lifestyle modification

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