Do college students tend to gain weight? The answer is yes. Pursuing a degree is the dream of many individuals. However, in this period maintaining healthy habits is a challenge, especially for women who choose the health area, such as the nutrition faculty. For a number of associated reasons, the university environment becomes stressful for having many demands. What would be the reason for the long-awaited college to increase body weight? That’s what we’ll cover here. Read on to learn more.
Eating habits of university students
An adequate and healthy food intake during life is able to minimize and prevent the involvement of chronic diseases, in addition to improving physical well-being as a whole. During graduation, dietary intake is drastically modified, in which there is a reduction in the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which usually no longer meets the recommendations of daily intake.
Supporting such data, a survey done by American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment reported that only 5.3% of this population eats the optimal amounts of fruits and vegetables during the day. In addition to inadequate consumption, data indicate that the level of physical activity in the transition between elementary and higher education is greatly reduced, and only 19.5% of university students practice some physical activity 5 or more times a week.
The risk of weight gain for females
In this population, the impact on the increase in body weight is magnified, only in the first year of college the increase in weight is on average 3.5 Kg, and can reach up to 9 Kg on average in the first 2 years. A fact that generates in the female population lower self-esteem, concern both in the shape and size of the body, in addition to the pathological comparison to stereotypes.
Although nutrition undergraduates have knowledge about foods and the physiological pathways of their use, they have dysfunctional eating behaviors, have a concern in weight control and about 53% of North American nutrition experts have tried to lose weight.
The consumption of highly industrialized foods, rich in calories, sodium and fat is common in this population, which associated with physical inactivity corroborates and the environment more and more stressful weight gain. Therefore, going to college can negatively influence and increase weight. Thus, food and nutrition education actions aimed specifically at this population should be adopted and implemented to control the levels of overweight and obesity, as well as encouraging healthier eating behaviors.
Training in nutrition influences the BMI of university students
Hong, M., Shepanski, T., & Gaylis, J. (2016). Training in nutrition influences the BMI of university students. Journal of Nutritional Science, 5 , E8. doi:10.1017/jns.2015.24
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