UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | January 26, 2023

College life changes nutritional habits

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Considering whether or not students are meeting their basic nutritional needs might be food for thought. 

It’s commonly known that college students tend to change their eating habits after leaving the comfort of home. Those attending Dixie State College are no exception, and the cause of this change is more than a lack of parental guidance.

Miranda Cameron, a sophomore general education major from San Diego, said time is a major factor for her not eating as healthy as she would wish.

“I just cram a lot of classes into a short amount of time, and sometimes eating’s just not that big of a priority,” Cameron said.

Alex Burrows, a freshman general education major from Mapleton, said a combination of time and money was a large factor preventing him from getting the best nutrition.

Although time seems like a major cause of students not meeting their daily nutritional intake, registered dietitian Beverly Knox said a change in environment could impact a student’s diet.

 “It’s classic for students, especially if they’re away from home for the first time, to drastically change their diet from the way they were eating at home,” Knox said.

Students can be inexperienced and don’t know how to prepare food properly for themselves, Knox said. However, if students are educated and prepared, time shouldn’t be a problem.

 “[You] can’t leave your nutrition to chance,” Knox said. “You have to plan ahead,” 

Doing simple things such as cutting up vegetables and fruit beforehand can help students make better choices for their nutritional needs, making the healthy food more convenient for him or herself, rather than the bag of chips. 

Eating breakfast can also help students reach their nutrition needs, as well as help in other aspects of their lives. Knox said eating breakfast feeds a person’s brain, so it can engage in thinking and problem solving.

Kourtnie Tisdale, a sophomore general education major from Hurricane, said she believes getting the proper nutrition is important and would advise those trying to change their diet to take things slow.

 “Just start a little bit at a time,” Tisdale said. “Don’t just jump into it, because I think the more you jump into something the harder it is to continue.”

Burrows said making a meal plan for the upcoming week is another idea for those struggling to get their daily nutrition. Students who plan meals out and how they are willing to spend time will help them stick to an eating plan.

 “Don’t really try to wing it or else you’re going to end up eating fast food,” Burrows said.

Shawn Adams, a sophomore general education major from Cedar City, said despite knowing that fast food is not the most nutritious choice, he still eats it regularly because it’s convenient. 

“It’s easy. It’s fast,” Adams said. “I don’t like spending a lot of time [cooking].”

Proper nutrition is something students should take into consideration now rather than later, because it could prevent a lot of health problems down the road.

“They don’t really understand how important it is, especially for the long run,” Knox said.