Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Health Promotion Journal of Australia




School of Medical and Health Sciences




National Health and Medical Research Council / Open access publishing facilitated by Curtin University, as part of the Wiley - Curtin University agreement via the Council of Australian University Librarians / SafeWork NSW Australia / The University of Western Australia / Curtin University / Women and Infants Research Foundation / Telethon Kids Institute / Edith Cowan University / Murdoch University / The University of Notre Dame Australia / The Raine Medical Research Foundation

Grant Number

NHMRC Numbers : 1044840, 1021858, 1027449

Grant Link /


Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C., Gucciardi, D. F., McVeigh, J. A., O'Sullivan, T. A., Dontje, M., Stamatakis, E., . . . Straker, L. (2023). Health behaviour profiles in young Australian adults in relation to physical and mental health: The raine study. Health Promotion Journal of Australia. Advance online publication.


Issues Addressed: We aimed to identify latent health behaviour profiles of young adults and examine their associations with physical and mental health outcomes. We also characterised the profiles by socio-demographic characteristics. Methods: Data were collected between 2012 and 2014. Participants (N = 476) were young adults (M age [SD] = 22.1 [.57] years) from Generation 2 of the Raine Study longitudinal cohort. Health behaviours were measured via ActiGraph GT3X waist monitors (physical activity, sedentary behaviour) and questionnaires (diet quality, alcohol, smoking and sleep). Physical and mental health were measured using clinical health assessments, blood biomarkers, and questionnaires. Latent Profile Analysis using Mplus (8.2) was employed to identify profiles. Results: Four latent profiles were identified: ‘heavy drinkers with moderately unhealthy eating habits’ (high takeaway foods; n = 135), ‘unhealthy food abstainers’ (low takeaway foods; n = 138), ‘moderately sedentary alcohol abstainers’ (n = 139) and ‘physically active drinkers with unhealthy eating habits’ (high takeaway foods and sugary drinks; n = 64). ‘Physically active drinkers with unhealthy eating habits’ had the poorest (physical and mental) health outcomes, yet the lowest insulin resistance. ‘Unhealthy food abstainers’ had the most favourable health outcomes (adiposity, health perceptions, blood pressure). Sex differed among the profiles. Conclusions: The profiles identified among young adults are different to profiles with general adult populations. A novel finding was that ‘physically active drinkers with unhealthy eating habits’ had low insulin resistance. The findings also suggest that future interventions may need to be sex specific. So What: Our findings suggest that health behaviour interventions for young adults should be targeted to distinct profile characteristics.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.