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Nutrition awareness on the rise

Study shows 25% of students gain 10 pounds during first semester

By Michelle Lindsey
On January 25, 2017

College students are typically labeled as making poor food choices due to financial constraints. The phrase “broke college student” usually generates an image of a 20-something person eating Ramen noodles out of a microwavable bowl while standing at their kitchen counter. 

The “freshman fifteen” is also a common stereotypical term that is heard on most college campuses and according to bestcolleges.com, “One in four college students gain an average of ten pounds during their first semester.”

Just because this is what society typically thinks of as normal, doesn’t mean it has to be normal. Students need more energy and more stamina to do well in classes, study for exams at odd hours, and keep up with clubs, activities, and sports. Caffeine becomes a necessity and no one seems to have time to cook a healthy meal. 

A study completed by Texas Christian University, Caffeine Consumption Among College Students, shows that only 2% of college students do not consume caffeine in some way. The study points out, “Compared to the national average, college students consume over five times the amount of caffeine from caffeinated beverages, yet the majority of students also do not believe caffeine is associated with negative health outcomes.” 

Although most college students consume caffeine, some students put forth a greater effort to seek out a healthier diet. 

Simone Goods, Communications Major and Center for the Kirkwood Women’s Basketball team eats three meals a day and tries to have something green on her plate. 

“To diet on my own as an athlete, I drink lots of water and try not to snack. I cut down on all processed food and fast food,” she said. 

Goods said her favorite snacks are, “pineapple and salad.” 

Bromelain is contained in higher amounts in pineapple than any other food and helps reduce inflammation. 

According to Men’s Running UK, pineapple is also, “high in flu-fighting Vitamin C and, for those slipping into winter blues, a healthy dose of the energy-boosting mineral manganese will keep you running strong.” 

For students interested in increasing the amount of health foods in their diet, everyday superfoods can be cost-effective and easy to find locally. 

Kirkwood biology instructor Sophie Joly said, “Don’t let yourself be hungry. Superfoods, like kale, are a good idea to incorporate in any mixed salad.”

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