Lifestyles, body mass index and sleep patterns among university students

Background: Health surveys in Chile show a worrisome high prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles among adults. Aim: To characterize the nutritional status, food intake and sleep patterns in university students of both genders. Material and Methods: Cross sectional study in seven Chilean universities. Students from six universities answered a feeding habits survey, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Insomnia Severity Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale. All were weighed and their height was measured. Results: A total of 1,418 students aged 21 +/- 3 years (22% males) were evaluated. Three percent were classified as underweight, 68% as normal weight, 24% as overweight and 4% as obese. Thirty three percent of males and 28% of females smoked. Twenty six percent consumed at least one glass of alcoholic beverages on the weekend, and only 18% of males and 5% of females were physically active. Men consumed unhealthy foods with a significantly higher frequency than females. Twenty seven percent had mild daytime somnolence, 24% had moderate daytime somnolence, 50% had subclinical insomnia, 19% moderate insomnia, and 1.4% had severe insomnia. Conclusions: In this group of students a high frequency of unhealthy lifestyles and malnutrition caused by excess was observed. Also a high prevalence of insomnia, daytime somnolence, and inadequate sleep amounts were recorded.

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