Healthy diet hard to find on college campus

Northern Kentucky University students may not be practicing healthy eating habits.

“College students don’t have time to eat,” Michele Kay, campus nurse, said.

Living arrangements play a big part on how students eat. “It depends on if they live at home or alone,” Lindsey Miller, undeclared freshman, said. “Everyone I know that lives on their own eats a lot of junk food.”

Often times what is available to students is fast food. Some of the fast food restaurants have healthier choices, but students will usually pick what tastes good to them Kay said.

“It’s really hard getting good nutrition when you’re on the go. People really don’t know what good nutrition is,” Shawn Engle, junior art major, said. “They [students] are not informed of it.”

There are healthy foods that students can eat on the go Kay said. “Even if they aren’t eating the healthiest at a meal time at least they are getting something healthy in between like a banana, apple, carrots or celery.”

Kay said students could also eat pretzels instead of potato chips and instead of the egg Mc Muffin from McDonald’s they can eat a bagel.

“Every little bit counts,” Kay said.

NKU tries to provide students with vegetables and a variety of fruits.

There is always a choice of regular and fat free milk, and students can purchase a muffin, Dorothy Jones, worker of the movable feast, said. You also have a choice of soups and yogurt.

Kay also noted that just going to college can have great impact on a student’s health. Students tend to change their diet and eat more on the run.

“They [students] tend to gain the ‘freshman 15’ – where they start gaining weight when they first go to college,” Kay said.

However, Kay noted that it isn’t always what students eat. The amount of activity in a student’s lifestyle also affects health. Students don’t always have the time to carry out a regular exercise program. Some students’ activity patterns change.

Students might have been really active in sports in high school, and in college they might not be involved in any sports on campus.

Kay said doing just 10 to 15 minutes of exercise a day helps.

Kay suggested parking further away so you can walk more and to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Students also can take skiing classes, karate or aerobics for college credit and to help stay fit.