Nela Rašeta, Sonja Đurić, Nina Zeljković, Slobodan Simović, Milorad Vujnić

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Overweight and obesity prevalence has been reported in all age groups worldwide, including college students, while numerous researchers have pointed out that the critical period for weight gain are the freshman years. The first aim of this study was to measure body weight and prevalence of overweight and obesity among students at the University of Banja Luka by using three independent measurement methods. The second aim of the present study was to determine whether there were any statistically significant differences across groups in terms of gender, field of study (faculty), and year of study. A total of 210 students from the University of Banja Luka participated in the study, with a mean age of 21.94 ± 2.73 years. The set of measurements included: the Body Mass Index, Body Fat Percentage, and Waist-to-Hip Ratio. In terms of the Body Mass Index, a total of 22.40% of students were reported to be overweight, while 2.40% of them were obese. A higher percentage of overweight and obesity was reported among male students. The other two measurement methods, Body Fat Percentage and Waist-to-Hip Ratio, showed somewhat different results primarily with respect to fewer numbers of students classified either as overweight or obese, which raised questions as to whether the Body Mass Index was a reliable method when it came to measuring certain population groups, particularly young people. Differences across groups were reported when gender and, to a certain extent, field of study was taken into account, whereas the difference between freshman and senior years students was not statistically significant. The results from this study call for an extensive, detailed and prompt response to the issue of overweight and obesity, and its treatment among university students.


BF%, BMI, obesity, overweight, student, WHR

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