Diet, physical activity and screen time but not body mass index are associated with the gut microbiome of a diverse cohort of college students living in university housing: a cross-sectional study



Abstract Background Modifiable lifestyle factors (e.g. dietary intake and physical activity) are important contributors to weight gain during college. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether associations exist between body mass index, physical activity, screen time, dietary consumption (fat, protein, carbohydrates, and fiber), and gut microbial diversity during the first year of college. Racially/ethnically diverse college students (n = 82; 61.0% non-white) at a large Southwestern university completed self-reported physical activity and 24-h recall dietary assessments, height and weight measurements, and provided one fecal sample for gut microbiome analysis. Fecal microbial community composition was assessed with Illumina MiSeq next-generation sequencing of PCR amplified 16S rRNA genes. Post-hoc analyses compared microbial diversity by groups of high and low physical activity and fiber intake using QIIME and LEfSe bioinformatics software. Results No statistically significant differences were observed between body mass index and gut microbiome abundance and diversity. Median daily consumption of dietary fiber was 11.2 (7.6, 14.9) g/d, while the median self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was 55.7 (27.9, 79.3) min/d and screen time 195.0 (195.0, 315.0) min/d. Microbial analysis by LEfSe identified Paraprevotellaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Lachnospira as important phylotypes in college students reporting greater MVPA, while Enterobacteriaceae and Enterobacteriales were more enriched among students reporting less MVPA (p 
Date made available2018
Publisherfigshare Academic Research System

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