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Poor eating habit is an issue that is concerned with public health. Food preferences are usually established in one’s early days, however people become more independent in their choice of intake as they grow older. Food selection is a phenomena where a person decides whether the intake of food he/she will eat will be beneficial or harmful. Poor eating habit might point out the fact of choosing bad food or other related variables of food intake like timing. Eating habits are driven by a few factors that include pleasure, taste, nutrition, or convenience; where all might end up shifting the habit to be poor or healthy. (Deshpande, Basil, & Basil, 2009) This paper aims to clarify the causes, effects, and suggested solutions of poor eating habits amongst college students.
Rachon & Kuzbicka (2013) stated that, poor eating habits is a problem that many college students face. The reasons behind this problems varies from one student to another, however there have been a few common reasons that have a high percentage of likability. The first cause behind this awful habit is that they face a lack in time. This unavailable time caused to the amount of assignments and projects due, in addition to the time consumed on social needs; creates an off-balance in the food intake equation. One way where lack in time causes poor eating habits is by not allowing the student to have breakfast. This is a very improper behavior when it comings to eating as the student throws away a lot of benefits that comes with having breakfast. Due to the very short period of time that college students get to relax, they tend to merge their leisure activities with other activities. This happens when students eat in front of the television to save time. This increases the amount of junk food and soft drinks that the person intakes; which is a poor habit.
Another cause behind the phenomena of having the habit of eating poorly is the stress that college students face. People have a tendency to eat when stress is increased, to somehow relive this stress. This poor habit is sadly common amongst many college students. The problem lies where the food chosen to be eaten is usually take-out or fast food that harms the body. When college students are stressed they want the fastest available satisfying food, consequently junk food fits perfectly in these criteria. Devouring a chocolate cake is how media, which might be a driving force for choosing unhealthy food, projects a person can get rid of stress. Also, the time and energy needed to go buy healthy snacks or even cook do not fit in the schedule of a busy college student. This is why most students turn to fast food when it comes to getting rid of stress. (Ganasegeran, et al, 2012)
To all problems there are two sides of aspects, one is the causes and other is the effects. Causes are the motive behind the allurement of getting involved in the problem. On the other hand, the aftermath that occurs after the habit has been adapted, whether it is short term or long term, is the effect. This first effect, or consequence, that results from having poor eating habits is obesity. This is the most famous and common effect that people who have poor eating habits face. The greater issue with obesity is that is results in many other related health issues. Many physical problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart & liver diseases can be developed by health problem cause by poor eating habits. Also the brain functioning is affected with the rest of the body parts as fats in junk food limit the ability of the brain to function properly. (Rachon & Kuzbicka, 2013)
According to Ganasegeran et al (2012), the second effect that happens due to poor eating habits is having psychological problems with one’s self. Psychological issues rise to the surface due to obesity where self-confidence and body-image satisfaction and negatively affected by it. College students care about their appearance and body-image, obesity causes them to lose this aspect. Students look at themselves in the mirror and they do not feel self-confident as they don’t see their body as acceptable. This psychological problem can sometimes develop into other disorders in order for a student to go back to his/her previous figure. Having low self-esteem or confidence can drive a college student to develop bulimia or anorexia; the deliberate avoidance of food intake in fear of weight gain. However, this reflects even more negatively as restricting food intake is a very bad eating habit.
As most problems in the world, solutions have been tried aiming to fix the problem of poor eating habits. However, college students all over the world still have this habit and the numbers are very large. This might be due to the fail of the suggested solutions that have been tried. One solution that was ought to solve this problem was giving students nutrition courses. Students would go for a certain amount of a time per week and learn the values of having a healthy diet and food intake system. However, issues stood in the way of this solution’s success where students had no time for such courses. This was a problem where courses are available, but the students are not. Another reason causing this problem to fail is the lack of awareness of college students with such idea. Many students put their focus in what seems to be more important things and these ideas goes unnoted. (Deshpande, Basil, & Basil, 2009)
A possible solution to encounter the problem of poor eating habits amongst college students could be perhaps increasing the offers, with an alluring price, of healthy snacks. Students are attracted to offers, where buying in bulks saves time. Also, offers help the college students save their money which is very preferable. If more healthy food was offered in promotions and lower prices, it would draw the college students to buy more of it. This would help decrease the poor eating habit of in-taking food that is unbeneficial for the body.
To conclude, poor eating habits is a problem that a lot of college students face. There are various causes behind this issue that include stress and having a lack in time available. Stress can cause irregular eating habits in terms of timing and the food being eaten. This later develops into a habit where the eating style damages the person. Due to the vast availability and cheapness of junk food, it becomes a solution to solve the short time that college students have to spare. Effects that result from poor eating habits include obesity where this type of food and eating at irregular intervals causes the body to gain weight. The other effect is the psychological aspect where self-confidence is harmed causing on later disorders like anorexia. Many solutions were targeted like having nutrition courses, however students either have no time for it or they are not aware of it. The suggested solution which is increasing the availability of and decreasing the prices of healthy food might be very beneficial in solving such issue.
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