Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. Nicholas J. Hanson

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy J. Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. Carol A. Weideman


Weight gain, barriers, exercise, resources, campus

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


College students believe that university weight management interventions impact their health habits. This suggests that universities can play a large role in encouraging students to be active. The purpose of this study was to investigate this claim and to acquire a better understanding of weight change in first year college students in the first semester. We specifically sought to identify the variables that influence weight gain, as well as determine the awareness and usage of resources available to the students. A survey was given to first year students addressing the variables of interest including change in weight and Body Mass Index (BMI), as well as awareness, usage, and preference of resources on campus. There were 176 participants in the study, 90 males and 86 females, with an average age of 18.3±0.7 (mean±SD) years. They gained an average of 1.6 lbs. (159.3±40.0 to 160.9±39.8) and had an average increase in BMI of 0.2 (24.1±5.5 to 24.3±5.4) in their first semester. Those who expected to gain weight may be at risk of gaining weight ±2(4, n=176)=27.729, p±.001. Many students are aware of the resources on campus but do not use them. This study shows that students who expectations influence weight status and that student awareness and usage of resources can be improved upon.