Determinants of weight gain in young women: A review of the literature

Wane, Sarah, van Uffelen, Jannique G. Z. and Brown, Wendy (2010) Determinants of weight gain in young women: A review of the literature. Journal of Women's Health, 19 7: 1327-1340. doi:10.1089/jwh.2009.1738

Author Wane, Sarah
van Uffelen, Jannique G. Z.
Brown, Wendy
Title Determinants of weight gain in young women: A review of the literature
Journal name Journal of Women's Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1540-9996
Publication date 2010-06
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1089/jwh.2009.1738
Volume 19
Issue 7
Start page 1327
End page 1340
Total pages 14
Editor Susan G. Kornstein
Place of publication Larchmont, NY, U.S.A.
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject 920507 Women's Health
111712 Health Promotion
Formatted abstract
Background: Young adult women (18–36 years) are gaining weight at rates higher than women in other age groups. Given its long-term deleterious health effects, it is important to know the determinants of this weight gain. However, other than in relation to pregnancy, little is known about the determinants of weight gain in this population group.
Materials and Methods: Papers examining nonpregnancy weight gain in young women were identified through a literature search in PubMed in August 2008. Subsequently, reference lists of included papers were checked for additional eligible papers.
Results: A total of 29 papers were included in this review. They were grouped into five categories on the basis of the main identified determinants of weight gain: contraception (4); dietary behaviors (3); quitting smoking (1); physical activity (PA) (1); and university transition (20 papers). Study duration ranged from 13 days to 15 years. Weight was objectively measured in 25 studies and self-reported in 4 studies. Twenty-seven papers reported weight gain; the highest rates were observed with initial exposure to contraceptive use and the first semester of attending a university.
Conclusions: Even though young adulthood is a vulnerable time for weight gain in women, the number of studies examining specific determinants of weight gain was small. Those located identified five social and behavioral determinants, with most of the research focusing on the transition to and through a university, and few studies in nonuniversity populations. More studies are needed to assess the concurrent contributions of multiple determinants of weight gain at this life stage, so that appropriate interventions to prevent excess weight gain can be developed.
© 2010 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Keyword Body-mass index
Depot-Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
College freshman
Dietary patterns
1st-Year University
Health behaviors
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Non HERDC
ERA White List Items
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 18 Jul 2010, 00:03:34 EST