Changes in weight and body composition among students after entering the university: a systematic review
ABSTRACT Objective: Conduct a literature review to provide an estimate of changes in weight and body composition among university students and evaluate whether these changes are exclusive to the first year of academic life. Methods: Searches were performed in the PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, LILACS and SciELO databases for relevant articles published between 2007 and 2018. Only longitudinal studies involving concomitant evaluations of changes in weight and body composition were included. Two independent researchers performed the selection of the articles. Results: Eleven articles met the eligibility criteria and were included in the review. The tendency toward an increase in weight and body fat during academic life was confirmed, especially in the first year. Gains in weight and body fat in the freshman year of university were reported in all studies and ranged from 1.0 to 2.1 kg and 0.7 to 1.3%, respectively. Among the majority of students, the gain in body weight was the result of an increase in body fat. Conclusion: University students experience gains in weight and body fat during their academic lives, especially in the first year of university.