Methods: A survey instrument composed of 16 questions was designed and distributed to 279 students, faculty, and staff at a chiropractic college campus in northern California. Confidentiality was maintained throughout the process, and a response rate of 92% was obtained. Statistical analysis was performed on the data collected.
Results: The levels of obesity, inactivity, and smoking on this college campus are lower than the levels reported for the metropolitan area, the state, and the nation. The level of binge drinking among our students was high but similar to the reported rates for college students generally. We found interesting and significant relationships between the behaviors of physical activity and diet (red meat consumption), obesity, and self-reported perceived health in our surveyed chiropractic college population. Without exception, all surveyed members of our campus community view doctors of chiropractic as having a responsibility to role model healthy behaviors and to educate their patients with regard to healthy behaviors; however, we also found that less importance was placed on role modeling and patient education by those who were obese or who consumed red meat in excess.
Conclusions: This chiropractic college campus places a high level of importance on both educating patients and role modeling healthy behaviors. In the behavioral domain, the rates of smoking, obesity, and inactivity are lower than what is seen in the general population. However, there remains room for considerable improvement to bring actual health behaviors closer in line with evidence-informed behavioral health practices.
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