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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


GUTIERREZ-SALMEAN, Gabriela et al. Anthropometric traits, blood pressure, and dietary and physical exercise habits in health sciences students: the Obesity Observatory Project. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2013, vol.28, n.1, pp.194-201. ISSN 1699-5198.

Background: Obesity and the metabolic syndrome affect a considerable segment of the population worldwide, including health professionals. In fact, several studies have reported that physicians tend to have more cardiovascular risk factors than their patients. The present cross-sectional study assessed whether the Health Sciences students had a healthier lifestyle, thus could have a more preventive attitude towards chronic diseases than the general population. Materials and methods: Students of the medical-biological areas were surveyed by answering a questionnaire about familiar cardiovascular risk factors, personal smoking, alcohol drinking, dietary and exercise habits. Blood pressure was also measured, along with weight, height, and abdominal circumference. Results: 23.4% of the participants were overweight and 10% obese. Parental obesity was the most frequent risk factor, followed by social drinking and smoking. We found high consumption of animal derived foods, breakfast-like cereals, pastries, white bread and sweetened beverages; while low intake of fruit and vegetables were reported. More than half the sample reported to practice very little or no exercise at all. Discussion and conclusions: We found similar or even higher rates of risk factors than the average population, that may eventually lead to the development of chronic cardiometabolic diseases. Thus we can infer that biomedical education is inefficient in inducing healthy lifestyles among biomedical students, which could have impact in their future practice as they will most probable become obese health-professionals, thus fail to effectively treat their own patients.

Keywords : Health occupations students; Risk factors; Primary prevention; Physician-patient relations.

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