Introduction: Short sleep, physical inactivity, and being locked up are risk factors for weight gain.

Objective: We evaluated weight gain according to sex, age, hours of sleep and physical activity in university students from 10 Latin American countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Cross-sectional and multicenter study (n = 4880).

Results: The average age was 22.5 ± 4.4 years. 60.2% were currently locked up. 73.6% were women, 48.2% increased their body weight, 66% reported insufficient sleep hours, and 65.9% were inactive. Women gained more weight than men (73.2%) and younger students gained more weight (85.1%). Those who had insufficient sleep hours gained most weight (67.6%). Inactive participants gained most weight (74.7%). Students who have insufficient sleep are 21% more likely to have changes in body weight compared to students who have optimal sleep.

Conclusion: The increase in body weight and its risk factors during confinement should be considered as emerging from public health.


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Cite as

Meza-Miranda, E., Parra-Soto, S., Durán-Agüero, S., Gomez, G., Carpio-Arias, V., Ríos-Castillo, I., Murillo, A., Araneda-Flores, J., Morales, G., Cavagnari, B., Nava-González, E., Bejarano-Roncancio, J., Núñez, B., Cordón-Arrivillaga, K., Mauricio-Alza, S. & Landaeta-Díaz, L. 2022, 'Body weight in relation to hours of sleep, and physical activity in Latin American university students during the Covid-19 pandemic', Journal of American College Health. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2022.2089848

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Last updated: 05 August 2022
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