ABSTRACT Background: To date no study on the body weight of medical students in Inner Mongolia has been carried out. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with various body weight levels, and the physical health status associated with body weight levels among medical students attending the Inner Mongolia Medical College of China in 2011. Methods: Data on participant characteristics came from basic information contained in the school database. Students’ body weight was categorized using standard height and weight and physical health status using the college student physical health standard. Factors associated with various level of body weight were identified using multinomial logistic regression analysis. Results: The sample comprised 2060 males and 5096 females. The appropriate body weight prevalence among the students was 51.7%. The prevalence of being overweight or obese was 5.8 and 8.5%, respecttively, higher compared to the typical prevalence among college students in China. Both male and female students in the 24-28-years age group had the lowest appropriate weight percentage and the highest obesity percentage among all the age groups. For female medical students, the prevalence of obesity for students studying in Clinical Medicine was higher than for other faculties. Multinomial logistic regression analysis of male students showed that lowest year of education (year 1) was a protective factor in regard to appropriate weight. For both male and female medical students, the obese group had the highest proportion of poor physical health status compared to other categories of body weight and the proportion with excellent physiccal health status constituted < 1% for males and 0% for females. Conclusions: School administrators should encourage medical students to actively participate in body weight training and education to improve attitudes toward inappropriate body weight, to increase protective factors, and reduce the risk factors for inappropriate body weight.
Cite this paper
Bian, J. , Yi, H. , Liu, Z. , Li, G. , Ba, T. , Zhang, Q. and Sun, J. (2012) Prevalence of and factors associated with various level of body weight among Inner Mongolia medical students in China. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2, 123-130. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2012.22018.
 WHO. (1995) Physical status: The use and interpretation of anthropometry. Report of a WHO Expert Consultation, WHO Technical Report Series, No. 854, Geneva.
 WHO. (2000) Obesity: Preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report on a WHO Consultation on Obesity, Technical Report Series, No. 894, Gene-va.
 Jequier, E. and Tappy, L. (1999) Regulation of body weight in humans. Physiological Reviews, 79, 451-480.
 Wilborn, C., Beckham, J., Campbell, B., Harvey, T., Melyn Galbreath, Bounty, P.L., Nassar, E., Wismann, J. and Kreider, R. (2005) Obesity: Prevalence, theories, medical consequences, management, and research directions. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2, 4- 31. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-2-2-4
 Jensen, M.K., Chiuve, S.E., Rimm, E.B., Dethlefsen, C., Tj?nneland, A., Joensen, A.M. and Overvad, K. (2008) Obesity, behavioral lifestyle factors, and risk of acute coronary events. Circulation, 117, 3062-3069.
 Lobstein, T., Baur, L. and Uauy, R. (2004) Obesity in children and young people: A crisis in public health. Obesity Reviews, 5, 4-85.
 Pelletier, D.L. and Frongillo, E.A. (2003) Changes in child survival are strongly associated with changes in malnutrition in developing countries. Journal of Nutrition, 133, 107-119.
 El-Ghannam, A.R. (2003) The global problems of child malnutrition and mortality in different world regions. Journal of Health & Social Policy, 16, 1-26.
 WHO. (1999) Leave the pack behind. World Health Organization, Geneva, 33-39.
 Zhu, D., Norman, I.J. and While, A.E. (2011) The relationship between health professionals’ weight status and attitudes towards weight management: A systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 12, e324-e337.
 Abbate, C., Giorgianni, C., Munaò, F., Beninato, G., D’Arrigo, G., D’Arrigo, P. and Brecciaroli, R. (2006) Evaluation of obesity in healthcare workers. La Medicine del Lavoro, 97, 13-19.
 Bertsias, G., Mammas, I., Linardakis, M. and Kafatos, A. (2003) Overweight and obesity in relation to cardiovascular disease risk factors among medical students in Crete, Greece. BMC Public Health, 3, 3.
 Ministry of Education of China and General Administration of Sport of China. (2008) National student body hight standard and body weight index, Beijing.
 WHO Expert Consultation. (2004) Appropriate bodymass index for Asian populations and its implications for policy and intervention strategies. Lancet, 363, 157-163.
 Ministry of Education of China and General Administration of Sport of China. (2008) College student physical health standard, Beijing.
 The Research Group of Physical Fitness and Health in Chinese Students. (2007) Report on the physical fitness and health surveillance of Chinese school students. Higher Education Press, Beijing.
 Yahia, N., Achkar, A., Abdallah, A. and Rizk, S. (2008) Eating habits and obesity among Lebanese University students. Nutrition Journal, 7, 6.
 Boo, N.Y., Chia, G.J.Q., Wong, L.C., Chew, R.M., Chong, W. and Loo, R.C.N. (2010) The prevalence of obesity among clinical students in a Malaysian medical school. Singapore Medical Journal, 51, 126-132.
 Puhl, R., Andreyeva, T. and Brownell, K. (2008) Perceptions of weight discrimination: Prevalence and comparison to race and gender discrimination in America. International Journal of Obesity, 32, 992-1000.
 Rampal, L., Rampal, S., Khor, G., Azhar, M., Shafie, O., Ramlee, R., Sirajoon, N. and Jayanthi, K. (2007) A national study on the prevalence of obesity among 16,127 Malaysians. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 16, 561-566.
 Morar, N., Seedat, Y.K., Naidoo, D.P. and Desai, D.K. (1998) Ambulatory blood pressure and risk factors for coronary heart disease in black and Indian medical students. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, 5, 313-318.
 Komatsu, F., Kagawa, Y., Kawabata, T., Kaneko, Y. and Ishiguro, K. (2009) Relationship of dietary habits and obesity to oxidative stress in Palauan people: Compared with Japanese and Mongolian people. Current Aging Science, 2, 214-222. doi:10.2174/1874609810902030214
 Kj?llesdal, M.R., Holmboe-Ottesen, G. and Wandel, M. (2011) Frequent use of staff canteens is associated with unhealthy dietary habits and obesity in a Norwegian adult population. Public Health Nutrition, 14, 133-141.
 Xie, J., Liu, L., Miao, R.J. and Zhang, X.Y. (2008) Influencing Factors to Self Rated Health States Among Students in Tianjin Medical Unversity. Chinese Journal of School Health, 29, 241-243.
 Zhang, L.P. (2006) Analysis of health standard grade of the colleges’ present conditions in Xi’an. Journal of Xi’an Physical Education University, 23, 38-41.
 Sakamaki, R., Toyama, K., Amamoto, R., Liu, C.-J. and Shinfuku, N. (2005) Nutritional knowledge, food habits and health attitude of Chinese university students—A cross sectional study. Nutrition Journal, 4, 4.
 Yang, G.R. (2000) National survey for college students’ health condition. Chinese Journal of School Health, 23, 2-4.
 Zhang, Y.X. and Wang, S.R. (2010) Changes in the distribution of body mass index among college students in Shandong, China from 1985 to 2005. Anthropological Science, 118, 123-127. doi:10.1537/ase.091015