Document Type

Senior Honors Project

Publication Date



With the obesity epidemic on the rise an effort must be initiated to discover why dietary choices are made. Exercise cancellation in individuals who frequently exercise may cause a decrease in calories consumed. However, exercise cancellation in sedentary individuals may have opposite effect, increasing calories consumed. PURPOSE: This study was performed to determine whether the cancellation of regularly scheduled exercise affects an individual’s daily food consumption, particularly in individuals who exercise regularly compared to those who are sedentary. METHODS: Female college students (n=10) scheduled two morning exercise sessions of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. One session randomly determined by the researcher was canceled. After both days participants recorded their daily food intake. RESULTS: A statistically significant decrease in Perceived Health Competence Scale scores and increase in Perceived Stress Scale scores for sedentary subjects (p<0.05) occurred, compared to that of physically active individuals. There was also a statistically significant increase in calories and sodium intake for sedentary individuals on the day exercise occurred, compared to active individuals on the day exercise was cancelled (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Regular exercise may be associated with lower stress and higher perceived health, but sedentary individuals must be cognizant of the compensatory consumption effect after exercise.


Honors Program