Physical activity, body mass index, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking among East Asian college students

Dong Chui SEO, Mohammad R TORABI, Ming Kai CHIN, Chung Gun LEE, Nayoung KIM, Sen-Fang HUANG, Chee Keong CHEN, Magdalena Mo Ching MOK, Patricia WONG, Michael CHIA, Bock-Hee PARK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify levels of moderate-intensity physical activity (MPA) and vigorous-intensity physical activity (VPA) in a representative sample of college students in six East Asian economies and examine their relationship with weight, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: College students recruited from 21 different colleges in six East Asian economies. Method: Self-reported physical activity, weight, height, alcohol consumption, and smoking were assessed using already-validated instruments. Multiple logistic regression models of MPA and VPA were separately performed for each economy, controlling for age, gender, living area before college, military experience, paid employment, and religion. All the analyses were performed using SAS 9.2 with clustering effects accounted for. Results: Being a heavy drinker increased the odds of engaging in VPA in five economies (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.56 to 2.65). Cigarette smoking was not associated with MPA in any economy and was only associated with VPA in China (AOR = 1.54) and Taiwan (AOR = 1.48), indicating that smokers are more likely to engage in VPA than non-smokers. Conclusions: The relationship between college students’ VPA and alcohol consumption and between MPA and cigarette smoking is similar across the East Asian economies, whereas the relationship between VPA and smoking varies substantially. Copyright © 2014 Health Education Authority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-465
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number4
Early online dateMay 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014



Seo, D.-C., Torabi, M. R., Chin, M.-K., Lee, C. G., Kim, N., Huang, S.-F., et al. (2014). Physical activity, body mass index, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking among East Asian college students. Health Education Journal, 73(4), 453-465.


  • Alcohol use
  • Body mass index
  • East Asia
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco use