Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Erik Lind, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

John Foley, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Peter M. McGinnis, Ph.D.


Although there are numerous benefits to increased physical activity and proper dietary behaviors, the decreased participation in physical activity and poor dietary behaviors has emerged as a significant problem within the college student population. The focus of this research study was to identify the relationship between physical activity and dietary behavior to weight loss behaviors within an undergraduate student sample of a small, comprehensive northeastern university. College-aged students (age range: 17 to 27 years old) completed the American College Health Association’s (ACHA) National College Health Assessment II (NCHA) during the years 2009 and 2012. According to the results, there were no significant relationships between the predictor variables (Gender, Fruit/Vegetable intake, Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA)) and weight loss behaviors. The results from the regression analysis suggested that there were no significant differences between weight loss behaviors within the variables of fruit and vegetable intake (p = 0.25) or MVPA (p = 0.25). The one predictor variable that did express a significant relationship to weight loss behavior was Gender (p < 0.001), suggesting that there was a significant association with weight loss behavior within the female vs. male gender. These findings suggest that women more so than males report a higher likelihood of wanting to lose weight, but common weight loss methods were not significantly different between male and female respondents.