Background: Alaska is among the US states in which adult obesity has reached rates of over 20% and the combined adult overweight/obesity rate has exceeded 60%. Overweight and obesity are not simply an adult issue for the US or for the state of Alaska. Nationally, the National Center for Health Statistics (1999) has reported that 15% of all adolescents are overweight, as defined by a body mass index at or above the 95th percentile. The 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted with Alaska high-school students revealed similar figures, with 11% of high-school students already being overweight and an additional 15% at risk for becoming overweight. The transition between high-school and college has been documented as a high-risk period for weight problems, with documented significant weight increases during the freshman year. Objectives: It is the purpose of this study to begin to accumulate information about young Alaskan college students’ overweight and obesity rates in an effort to prepare for intervention planning.

This project was partially funded by a UAA Chancellor's Fund Award.