|dc.description.abstract||Background: A relationship exists between perception of one?s health based on weight, and how they manage their health. Normal-weight college students who physically appear healthy may unknowingly develop a chronic disease because they view good physical appearance as verification of good health.
Objective: The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) compare the perceived health status of TCU students to their actual health status; and 2) assess the health status of TCU students of normal BMI.
Design: This study was a cross-sectional, descriptive design.
Methods: Twenty-five normal-weight college students between ages 18-24 of any sex and race were recruited to complete a health perception assessment survey 24 hours prior to their lab visit. Participant?s anthropometric measurements (height, weight, body fat percentage, waist/hip circumference, and waist-hip ratio), blood pressure, fasting blood glucose (via finger prick) and a 10 mL blood sample were collected. Blood was analyzed for hemoglobin A1c and a lipid panel. Self-reported survey results were compared with results obtained during the study visit to identify any discrepancies between actual and perceived health status and evaluate the overall health status of participants.
Results: Average BMI and waist-hip ratio of participants were 22.39±1.94 kg/m2 and 0.76±0.04, respectively. The most commonly elevated measured values were fasting blood glucose (29% prevalence), and body fat percentage, blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol (21% prevalence each). Fifty-two percent of participants presented with at least one measured value outside normal limits and 29% presented with two or more values outside normal limits. However, 92% described themselves as very healthy, healthy, or somewhat healthy.
Conclusion: Despite the appearance and perception of health, a significant proportion of TCU students ages 18-24 may risk developing a chronic disease. Our results suggest that regardless of self-perceived health status, TCU students should receive regular check-ups to identify and manage physiological markers of health.
Funding Source: TCU SERC Grant UG 190314||