Do medical students adhere to advice regarding a healthy lifestyle? A pilot study of BMI and some aspects of lifestyle in medical students in Poland
Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Background. The components of lifestyle of medical students, with comprehensive reporting of their physical activity and drinking and eating behavior, are rarely evaluated. Being overweight (increased body mass index -BMI) is associated with health problems, an unhealthy lifestyle (inadequate sleep, diet and exercise) being implicated. Objectives. The aim was to determine if there were discrepancies between assessments of actual lifestyle and advice regarding the principles of a healthy
... f a healthy lifestyle. Material and methods. The relationship between lifestyle and BMI was investigated in 270 medical students (158 females, 112 males) who answered a questionnaire about aspects of their lifestyle. Results. The mean ±SD BMI in males (23.41 ±0.25kg/m 2 ) was significantly higher than in females (20.52 ±0. 16kg/m 2 ). Many aspects of lifestyle differed significantly with gender, including sleep habits, number of meals eaten, types of food eaten (fast food, amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, sweets, etc.) and alcohol consumption, males generally having less healthy lifestyles. After correcting the associations between BMI and lifestyle factors for gender, one main finding was a positive association between BMI and alcohol intake, BMI rising by 0.014 kg/m 2 /g alcohol intake per week. Conclusions. These results show clear differences between actual and advised lifestyle with regard to many aspects of sleep, food and fluid intake, and exercise. Most students, particularly males, had not adopted a healthy lifestyle. Possible future problems associated with this require more emphasis.