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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  BODY COMPOSITION, NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 November;58(11):1652-6

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07871-9

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Relation between lifestyle behaviors and body composition patterns among healthy young Italians: a cross-sectional study

Luciana ZACCAGNI, Natascia RINALDO , Barbara BRAMANTI, Emanuela GUALDI-RUSSO

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Surgical Specialties, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy



BACKGROUND: Negative lifestyle factors affect health outcomes adversely. The aim of the study was to assess body composition parameters and their relationship to several lifestyle behaviors among young Italian adults.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out on a sample of university students (N.=200; 50% males; 21.9±2.0 years). Anthropometric and bio-impedance traits were directly measured. Behavioral data (physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking data) were collected by a self-administered questionnaire. Quantitative and qualitative data were used to characterize and compare across participants by univariate and multivariate analyses.
RESULTS: The prevalence of subjects at risk (above the cut-points) was 3% in men and 2% in women for generalized obesity (BMI); 1% in women for centralized obesity (waist circumference); 12% in men and 5% in women for obesity (fat percentage). Unhealthy behaviors were infrequent in our sample. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that percentage of fat mass and fat-free mass were closely related to sex and structured physical activity: fat percentage decreased and fat free mass increased with the increasing of sport practice.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight new evidence on the particular impact of structured physical activity on body composition in young adults. Interventions should focus on the optimization of youth health behaviors.


KEY WORDS: Life style - Exercise - Body composition - Young adult - Health

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