Objectives This study aimed to collect information on the personal health status of health sciences students in Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University. It also aimed to investigate the relationships between levels of physical activity and other behaviours as well as specific health indicators in students attending college.
Methods A convenience sample of 147 college students, ages 18 to 24 years, participated in this research study at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University. The data were obtained through interview questionnaire and trained investigators collected weight, height, blood pressure and blood sugar measurements.
Results Forty-five percent of the students were either overweight or obese (21.8% and 23.1%) while 17.0% of the students were current smokers and 7.5% of them were ex-smokers. The majority of the students (91.8%) had fast food (hamburger, French fries, and soft drink) and out of these 62.9% had it three times or more weekly. Furthermore, 35% or more of the students did not have breakfast or drink milk or have vegetables on a daily basis. Also, 22.4% of the students were inactive. Ten percent of the participants were hypertensive while 1.4% had impaired random blood sugar with increased risk for diabetes mellitus. All of these students were unaware that they had hypertension or high random blood sugar. There was a significant statistical relationship between living in-campus at university and frequency of consumption of fast food (p=0.003).
Conclusion This study shows that there were high rates of risky lifestyles, namely, obesity, smoking, unhealthy diet, and inactivity among health sciences students, while some have health issues such as hypertension and high risk of diabetes.
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