Prevalence of body weight excess in undergraduate students: analysis of repeated surveys

<p></p><p>ABSTRACT: Objective: To compare the prevalence of excess of body weight between the surveys conducted in the years 2010, 2012 and 2014, in college students from the same institution. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys were carried out in representative samples of students of a public institution. The excess of body weight was estimated by the body mass index and compared between the surveys, using the χ2 test for linear trend, in each of the categories: sociodemographic, link with the university and health-related behaviors. Results: There were 1,069, 1,074 and 1,031 participants in the surveys in 2010, 2012 and 2014, respectively. Between surveys, the prevalence of overweight increased in men (2010: 30.1%; 2014: 36.4%), but not in women. There was an increased prevalence of excess body weight for the categories of sociodemographic variables link with the university and health-related behaviors in men and women. Conclusion: An increasing prevalence of excess body weight in college students was observed in the surveys. The conduction of interventions aimed at maintaining body weight is essential in order to avoid possible diseases associated with the concentrations of fat in inadequate levels.</p><p></p>