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College students today are having trouble eating healthy due to a lack of time and funds.
Oregon State University published a study in 2011, which revealed that college students are not consuming the recommended amount of fruits or vegetables.
President of the Student Nutrition Council on campus, Anateresa De Leon was able to speak on what barriers students face when trying to eat healthy.
“A lot of it is money and also we’re college students so, our priorities aren’t always great. A lot of times we want short term satisfaction versus long term.” De Leon said.
Students have to juggle classes with work and other responsibilities. Also, eating healthy can take a lot of organization and information to execute.
Not to mention the fact that college students are young adults trying to figure things out on their own, “Prioritizing eating healthy can be difficult to manage, and at our age its even more difficult because we’re kind of barely getting our grasp on being adults,” De Leon said
De Leon mentioned a couple resources to help students such as ASU’s food pantry but forgot to mention the Wellness team at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, a group whose main concern is the well being of the students, physically and mentally.
Jenna Heller, a registered dietitian at ASU mentioned similar cases as De Leon, but added, “I think the other issue is that there’s so much misinformation out there and people lose trust in themselves in what they already know about healthy eating.”
Students can get misled on their view of what is healthy and what is not. This skews their view and makes students think eating healthy is more expensive.
“As people are more focused on specialized diets or purchasing programs, supplements or shakes then healthy eating does seem expensive. But in reality, when we look at what students eat, it’d be much cheaper for people to eat at home,” Heller said.
Some ASU students like Thomas Haver, know a bit about eating healthy, but can still understand that not everyone is as informed.
Haver thinks there’s a “common misconception” shared amongst students. When they see labels such as organic it can seem expensive, but in reality, cooking at home is going to be much cheaper than buying food.
“People try to get organic food and then they are confused. They think they have to spend more,” he said,” Things like fruits or vegetables are really cheap to buy and I think a lot of people just aren’t aware of that,” Haver added.
Taylor Ryan, another ASU student, who believes eating healthy can be expensive, so she attends a wellness class held by ASU’s Wellness Team at the SDFC, “I know one of their main goals is to create healthy options that are cheaper for college students,” she said.
The Wellness Team appears to be tackling the issues with student nutrition and Devil’s Dish is one of their efforts to try and educate students about healthy eating.
“Like devils dish our team is trying to address some of the ideas of how to get students to cook more at home and eat healthier on a budget.” Heller said.
The Wellness Team has events like “Tasty Tuesday” and “Ask a Nutritionist” to give students opportunities to learn about healthy options and get answers to whatever nutrition question comes to their mind.
They have a lot on their plate and it appears that they are the only group that offers classes that try to teach students how to cook healthy foods and where to get them by informing students on in-season fruits and vegetables.
Students may struggle with eating healthy, but at least ASU is cooking up new ways to teach students that it can be inexpensive and easy to do.