It is commonly known that when students move to campus, their eating habits decline terribly. Without parents encouraging them to eat properly, students develop poor eating habits.
The easy choice is to blame their poor eating on the lack of quality food available. However, students themselves are often times responsible for unhealthy eating.
While there are many unhealthy food choices offered in the cafeteria and the Student Center dining court, there are also many healthy choices.
Americans live in a fast food culture. So naturally students tend to gravitate towards foods like burgers and fries.
Another side affect of the fast food culture leaves students scrambling to find time to eat. They would rather grab a bag of chips than sit down and eat a proper meal.
It is easier to eat when you have time rather than make time to eat.
Dinner is the meal of choice for college students. By skipping breakfast or lunch, students deprive themselves of the energy they need to function throughout the day.
Many students breakfasts are simply a cup of coffee. While coffee does increase alertness, the caffeine it is contains possesses very little energy in and of itself.
Poor eating habits affect both the physical and mental well-being. Students need a balanced diet catered to one’s individual energy needs.
If someone has the majority of their classes in the morning, then they should eat a breakfast which will give them the energy they need to concentrate all morning.
A balanced diet is made up of all kinds of foods. There is room in every diet for Taco Bell or Cinnabon, but these foods should not make up the greater part of one’s diet.
Michael McNeal, the Coordinator of Health Education at Student Health Services says, “No individual food really should be labeled as a bad food. People should consider all of their food choices within the concepts of balance, moderation, and variety.”
Knowing proper dietary habits and practicing them are two different things.
Outside factors from time shortness, habit and stress cause students to forego healthy eating and nourish themselves with the less healthy of the foods offered in the Student Center and the cafeteria.
Stress-eating is a problem that plagues almost every college student. With all-you-can-eat cafeterias in the Johnson and Hardwick complex, students have the opportunity to overeat as a means of escaping their stress.
Unlimited meal plans make the habit hard to break but students can try replacing unhealthy foods with their healthy counterparts. It is possible to relieve stress by eating a few apples.
Temple’s Dining Services offers students a great deal of dietary freedom. As with any freedom, it is the individual’s responsibility to live wisely within that freedom.
Daniel Kristie Josephine Munis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org