African American College Students Engaging in Unhealthy Behaviors

A new report from scientists at Northwestern University and Northeastern Illinois University finds that college students, particularly African American college students, are engaging in behaviors that could increase their risk of cancer later in life.

The report found that 95 percent of all college students failed to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Some 60 percent of all college students do not participate in recommended amounts of physical activity.

Brian Hitsman, an assistant professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the principal investigator of the study, stated, “Changing unhealthy behaviors in college students now could be a way to reduce the risk of cancer as well as other diseases later in life.”

Black students had the worst performance on eating fruits and vegetables and had a high rate of obesity. “There are major cancer disparities both in terms of risk, morbidity and mortality with racial and ethnic minorities in the United States,” Dr. Hitsman said. “In this study, we see some of these behavioral risk factors already starting in young adulthood. Future research should monitor the persistence of cancer risk behavior clustering by race and ethnicity.”

There was some good news in the report relating to African American college students. They had the lowest rates of tobacco use and binge drinking behavior of any group.

The article, “A Latent Class Analysis of Cancer Risk Behaviors Among U.S. College Students,” was published on the website of the journal Preventive Medicine. It may be accessed here.

“There are major cancer disparities both in terms of risk, morbidity and mortality with racial and ethnic minorities in the United States,” Hitsman said. “In this study, we see some of these behavioral risk factors already starting in young adulthood. Future research should monitor the persistence of cancer risk behavior clustering by race and ethnicity.” – See more at: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2014/05/college-kids-need-to-change-unhealthy-ways.html#sthash.aGk78spS.dpuf
“There are major cancer disparities both in terms of risk, morbidity and mortality with racial and ethnic minorities in the United States,” Hitsman said. “In this study, we see some of these behavioral risk factors already starting in young adulthood. Future research should monitor the persistence of cancer risk behavior clustering by race and ethnicity.” – See more at: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2014/05/college-kids-need-to-change-unhealthy-ways.html#sthash.aGk78spS.dpuf

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