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Body fat composition in college students: comparison of female medical and non-medical students in Nepal

Author: 
Amatya, M.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Medical students, especially females, face more stress than non-medical students. This could alter their lifestyle and body fat composition. Whether Nepalese female medical students differ significantly from their non-medical counterparts regarding body fat composition is explored. Methods: Body mass index (BMI) of female medical and non-medical students from four private colleges of Nepal were calculated from measured height and weight. Participants were in first, second, and third years of medical, business sciences, and fashion designing courses. Groups were compared by Chi square test. Results: Of the total 278 students (174 medical, 104 non-medical), mean age in completed years of medical students was significantly less than non-medical (19.49±1.04 vs 20.36±1.51, p=0.000) but differences in height, weight, and BMI were not statistically significant. Differences in BMI were not significant also within groups in the students of different years of study. Almost one-fourth students (23.4%) were underweight and 5% were overweight but none were obese. Conclusion: Prevalence of overweight and obesity is low among female Nepalese college students. Level of stress may be more in medical students, but this was not evident in BMI of the students.

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