LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A University of Louisville multidisciplinary research program known as Fit into College is aimed at helping freshmen students reduce their risk of becoming overweight or obese through a 10-week dietary and exercise intervention plan.
The program includes 40 freshmen between 18 and 21-years-old who live in a residence hall at the University of Louisville. It combines the expertise of nursing, exercise physiology, campus health providers and intramural sports. University students in these disciplines serve as peer educators and work with the freshmen to accomplish each of the 10-week objectives. If successful, researchers plan to expand the program to other UofL students.
Many health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancers have been linked to people being overweight or obese. Identifying and reducing risk factors for weight gain among college students could be the first step in helping them maintain a healthy weight over their lifespan.
“High school students leave home and rarely have an idea how to buy healthy food or prepare a nutritional meal,” said Robert Topp, co-project leader and School of Nursing Assistant Dean for Research. “This program includes a field trip to the grocery store and a week each focused on how to plan a meal and how to cook it.”