The transition from high school to college is always a stressful time in a student’s life. During this time period of applying for college, acceptance period, and then finally shifting to a new housing facility/hostel can take a toll on an individual’s health. That is just the beginning of this stressful era. The real challenge comes when classes begin and students have to handle their studies and health at the same time without the supervision or help of their parents.
How College Diet Changes Eating Habits
Students who have had healthy eating habits established are less likely to fall into the junk food trap. Still, the demanding nature of studies sometimes forces students to make quicker food choices thus resorting to fast food options.
COLLEGE FOOD SERVICES:
Most colleges have dining facilities and several 24/7 cafeterias open that offer healthy food choices with the focus being on providing essential nutrition to students. These options usually are very diverse including several food groups. This can cause students to make either a healthy choice or a bad one depending on the mindset of the student. Their food choice would depend upon several factors like:
- Already established eating habits
- Current study load
- Time available to eat and cook
- Preference of taste
- Several personal preferences
Most students are well aware of the health effects of certain foods. Even then some of them prefer to eat junk food as it is faster and readily available.
DAILY NUTRITION REQUIREMENTS FOR COLLEGE
A poor diet can cause students to lose focus and can produce a decline in health both mental and physical. This can severely affect their academic performance and ability to live normally day-t-day. In the long run, this can also lead to diseases like diabetes, strokes, and hypertension.
It should be constantly instilled in students by their parents and college health authorities to focus on their daily nutrition. Making healthy food choices on a daily basis will prove beneficial not only in college but later in life as well. A well-balanced diet includes carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and other essential minerals along with proper hydration.
Most students who do pay attention to their daily nutrition intake forget to focus on daily caloric intake. They are likely to consume high caloric foods in order to stay away from food that has additives and might be harmful to their health. In doing so, they may be saving their health in one way but ruining it in another as high-calorie foods can lead to obesity in the long run.
College life poses different challenges to both genders. On one hand, the college male population sees the need for more physical activity which is sometimes lacking in various colleges. This can cause them to grow lazy and lose interest in physical activities thus leading to several health-related issues. For women, social factors play more important a role in their eating habits: stress, pressure to fit in, time management, weight maintenance concerns all contribute to their decision-making when it comes to food.
There is massive research backed by proof that college life tends to cause changes in a person’s eating habits. Whether this change is good or bad will depend on the particular individual. Introducing healthy eating habits right from the start, conducting stress management sessions, motivational speaking about nutrition and health, provision of physical activities, dining facilities that focus on healthy foods are all things that can help students stay healthy while maintaining a good academic score.