College Students’ Weight Gain and Its Causes

Many new high school graduates are ill-prepared to live an independent lifestyle while in college. Most of their meals had been, up to this point, prepared by their mother while they stayed at home. The result is that they often lack the necessary skills needed to cook their food. As such, many freshmen choose to buy food from off-campus sources such as the nearest pizza place or burger joint (ex: Pizza Hut, Mc Donalds, Arby’s). Due to the presence of high amounts of saturated fats, salt, and various artificial flavoring, the continuous consumption of these food products can cause significant weight gain. This method of eating can hurt a college student’s health due to the ingrained habits that they develop.

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With the social and intellectual nuances of “the college experience,” many students fail to consider the impact of their lifestyle choices on their health. Some of the more common consequences of bad eating habits come in the form of diabetes, obesity, and other ailments that cost several thousand dollars a year in medical expenses. The college experience, while enabling the development of social skills and intellectual capability, does not prepare students for the fundamentals of living an independent lifestyle.

Eating junk food once in a while is fine, it becomes a problem when it is your primary source of nutrition. These eating habits develop into an ingrained aspect of a college student’s food preferences resulting in an inclination towards an unhealthy lifestyle choice (LaChausse, 2012). While fast food is the most convenient way of eating, it is not healthy, and the nutritional value is questionable. High amounts of sodium, corn syrup, and fats in fast food have been connected to the development of obesity in children and adults. Unfortunately, due to their lack of practical knowledge when it comes to cooking and their desire for easy to eat meals, college students develop a preference for fast food.

Such a problem gets worse when they enter the corporate world since the impact of this ingrained behavior results in them choosing more convenient and less time-consuming methods of food consumption (i.e. fast food) rather than cooking for themselves which is a far healthier and less costly alternative. Inevitably, such a choice will lead to negative long-term health consequences. This can be seen in a significant percentage of many workers today in the U.S. where obesity is prevalent. Colleges need to prevent cases where students graduate possessing bad eating habits and an inclination towards a sedentary lifestyle.

The combination of a sedentary lifestyle along with an unhealthy diet results in weight issues later on in life resulting in the possibility of becoming obese. It is due to these sequences of events that 5.2 million college students in the U.S. today are considered overweight by the standards of the American Medical Association (Holmes and Mason, 2014). Increased awareness is necessary to enable college students to make the right choices when it comes to the sort of lifestyle that they lead. This can be done through classes, information campaigns and even restrictions on the type of food served in the college cafeteria and surrounding eateries (Morrell, Lofgren, Burke and Reilly, 2012).

Freshmen students need to understand the impact of lifestyle choices to prevent this type of problem from getting worse. One of the best ways that a University can help students directly is through a mandatory health class that students need to attend during their first semester. Through a lesson plan aimed at helping students develop proper lifestyle choices, the university will enable them to make informed decisions when it comes to what they eat and how they choose to maximize their college experience. By doing so, schools around the U.S. can help prepare their students for life outside of college through the development of a mindset that pursues an active lifestyle and healthy choices when it comes to the food that they eat.

Freshmen students need to understand the impact of their sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits. This can be accomplished through a mandatory health class that they need to attend during their first semester. Colleges should not assume that freshmen students immediately know what to do when it comes to their newly independent lifestyles. Many of the students who are about to enter college have spent most of their teenage years being pampered by their parents. This causes them to consume junk food since it is the easiest way. Colleges need to inform freshmen students early on of the consequences of their actions and help them develop proper eating habits. By doing so, this contributes to preventing cases where students graduate from college being disproportionally larger than when they first entered as well as possessing bad eating habits that could cause serious health complications for them in the future.

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Many new high school graduates are ill-prepared to live an independent lifestyle while in college. Most of their meals had been, up to this point, prepared by their mother while they stayed at home. The result is that they often lack the necessary skills needed to cook their food. As such, many freshmen choose to buy food from off-campus sources such as the nearest pizza place or burger joint (ex: Pizza Hut, Mc Donalds, Arby’s). Due to the presence of high amounts of saturated fats, salt, and various artificial flavoring, the continuous consumption of these food products can cause significant weight gain. This method of eating can hurt a college student’s health due to the ingrained habits that they develop.

With the social and intellectual nuances of “the college experience,” many students fail to consider the impact of their lifestyle choices on their health. Some of the more common consequences of bad eating habits come in the form of diabetes, obesity, and other ailments that cost several thousand dollars a year in medical expenses. The college experience, while enabling the development of social skills and intellectual capability, does not prepare students for the fundamentals of living an independent lifestyle.

Eating junk food once in a while is fine, it becomes a problem when it is your primary source of nutrition. These eating habits develop into an ingrained aspect of a college student’s food preferences resulting in an inclination towards an unhealthy lifestyle choice (LaChausse, 2012). While fast food is the most convenient way of eating, it is not healthy, and the nutritional value is questionable. High amounts of sodium, corn syrup, and fats in fast food have been connected to the development of obesity in children and adults.

Unfortunately, due to their lack of practical knowledge when it comes to cooking and their desire for easy to eat meals, college students develop a preference for fast food. Such a problem gets worse when they enter the corporate world since the impact of this ingrained behavior results in them choosing more convenient and less time-consuming methods of food consumption (i.e. fast food) rather than cooking for themselves which is a far healthier and less costly alternative. Inevitably, such a choice will lead to negative long-term health consequences. This can be seen in a significant percentage of many workers today in the U.S. where obesity is prevalent. Colleges need to prevent cases where students graduate possessing bad eating habits and an inclination towards a sedentary lifestyle.

The combination of a sedentary lifestyle along with an unhealthy diet results in weight issues later on in life resulting in the possibility of becoming obese. It is due to these sequences of events that 5.2 million college students in the U.S. today are considered overweight by the standards of the American Medical Association (Holmes and Mason, 2014). Increased awareness is necessary to enable college students to make the right choices when it comes to the sort of lifestyle that they lead. This can be done through classes, information campaigns and even restrictions on the type of food served in the college cafeteria and surrounding eateries (Morrell, Lofgren, Burke and Reilly, 2012).

Freshmen students need to understand the impact of lifestyle choices to prevent this type of problem from getting worse. One of the best ways that a University can help students directly is through a mandatory health class that students need to attend during their first semester. Through a lesson plan aimed at helping students develop proper lifestyle choices, the university will enable them to make informed decisions when it comes to what they eat and how they choose to maximize their college experience. By doing so, schools around the U.S. can help prepare their students for life outside of college through the development of a mindset that pursues an active lifestyle and healthy choices when it comes to the food that they eat.

Conclusion

Freshmen students need to understand the impact of their sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits. This can be accomplished through a mandatory health class that they need to attend during their first semester. Colleges should not assume that freshmen students immediately know what to do when it comes to their newly independent lifestyles. Many of the students who are about to enter college have spent most of their teenage years being pampered by their parents. This causes them to consume junk food since it is the easiest way. Colleges need to inform freshmen students early on of the consequences of their actions and help them develop proper eating habits. By doing so, this contributes to preventing cases where students graduate from college being disproportionally larger than when they first entered as well as possessing bad eating habits that could cause serious health complications for them in the future.

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References

Holmes, W. B., & Mason, R. (2014). Obesity and the College Dining Commons. Journal Of Applied Economics & Policy, 32(1), 26.

LaChausse, R. G. (2012). My Student Body: Effects of an Internet-Based Prevention Program to Decrease Obesity Among College Students. Journal Of American College Health, 60(4), 324-330.

Morrell, J. S., Lofgren, I. E., Burke, J. D., & Reilly, R. A. (2012). Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, and Related Risk Factors Among College Men and Women. Journal Of American College Health, 60(1), 82.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, October 8). College Students' Weight Gain and Its Causes. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/college-students-weight-gain-and-its-causes/

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"College Students' Weight Gain and Its Causes." StudyCorgi, 8 Oct. 2020, studycorgi.com/college-students-weight-gain-and-its-causes/.

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