Association of college entrance exam with changes in some lifestyle factors among adolescents

Reema F. Tayyem (based at The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan)
Faten Bayadoo (based at Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan)
Manal Kassab (based at Department of Nutrition and Food Technology, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan)
Wadah M. Khriesat (based at Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan)
Ahmad R. Al-Haifi (based at College of Health Sciences, Showaikh, Kuwait)
Angela D. Banks (based at University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA)
Hiba A. Bawadi (based at Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Publication date: 28 October 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The study was conducted to investigate the impact of competitive entrance exams on some lifestyle factors that may lead to body weight gain. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study was conducted on high school students (n=660), aged 16-20 years, to assess changes in body weight and fat percentage, dietary habits and physical activity practicing before and after the examination.

Findings

During the examination period, both males and females experienced weight gain, but the mean change of body weight for males was higher compared to the mean change of body weight observed in females (3.6 vs 0.6 kg). Body fat percentage increased in males and females in approximately 2 and 0.3 percent, respectively. In addition, males were found to skip breakfast (p=0.003) during the examination period as compared to females (p=1.00). Both males and females reported an increased consumption of milk (p=0.007 and 0.001), junk food (p=0.0001 and 0.001), caffeinated beverages (p<0.001) and carbonated drinks (p=0.001). A significant proportion from each gender reported that they quit recreational physical activity during the examination period (p=0.0001).

Originality/value

Several studies were conducted to investigate the impact of academic exams on stress among this vulnerable group; however, the relationship of body weight and obesity is still lacking in this population. Therefore, this study aims to investigate impact of competitive entrance exams on some lifestyle behaviours that may lead to body weight gain.

Keywords

Citation

F. Tayyem, R., Bayadoo, F., Kassab, M., M. Khriesat, W., R. Al-Haifi, A., D. Banks, A. and A. Bawadi, H. (2013), "Association of college entrance exam with changes in some lifestyle factors among adolescents", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 573-581. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-09-2012-0100

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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