College Students Poor Food Choices Due to Stress

Topics: Nutrition, Eating disorders, Obesity Pages: 9 (2869 words) Published: March 24, 2013
College Students Poor Food Choices Due To Stress
Rebecca Vlha
Holy Names University

Part I
Many college students develop eating disorders or they may develop habits that will make them obese in the future because of their bad habits that they acquire due to the stress that they are put under. Depending on what or how much each college student decides to participate in during their time being a college student. Stress is anything that is causing one uncomfortable emotions. Some examples of uncomfortable feelings might be anxiety, depression, feeling pressured, procrastination, troubled relationships with peers, not doing well in academics, or not being economically successful. Students that live in the dorms may choose fattening foods at the cafeteria or “treat” themselves to fast food because they are emotionally unstable. Most of these college students also do not think that their new habit is a negative one. The reason why college students eat fattening, high sugar foods could be because of a mental or a biological satisfaction. This research will give an explanation for why many medicate their emotional states with food. Food choices are often made based on one’s unhappiness, angst, or trauma. College students may feel as though pleasing their mouths will please their hearts and ease their state of stress. Many will endorse preferring the taste of highly salted, high sugar content foods, while others will state that this is the food they grew up eating, and some will say this is what is most affordable and accessible. Doing anything excessive because a stressor is acting upon you damages ones psyche; when one over eats and becomes obese, their sense of your self-image is altered negatively. The Café with buffets, fast food restaurants, and late night pizza deliveries are just a few of the enticements that college students are facing as they adjust to their new found independence and life on their own for the first time. My freshman roommate was from Sweden; when she came to America she was considered a normal weight. However, as she was experiencing the college and had a lot of American food available she chose fast food and unhealthy foods at the café at school to cope with being home sick, and being stressed out about school and soccer. However, she woke up one morning and realized that her belly was much bigger than when she first came to America. She waddled over to a mirror and grabbed her stomach and said, “how come you’re stomach is not this big? We almost do the same things.” I said, “I knew it was secretly a dream of yours to be ‘thick’ so the vitamins I gave you the other night were for you to get big overnight. This just relieved the tension and she had gotten her insecurity off of her chest. However, it did not solve her psychological crisis that had triggered negative feelings about her physical appearance. The main reason why she was over eating and eating unhealthy was because she was depressed and missed home – not because she was hungry. Many college students go through the same scenario that my roommate experienced. Some students feel as though abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake will comfort them physically and mentally. This research will be done on the college students who live in the dorms at Holy Names University. The units of analysis that will be observed are poor food choices and the factors of stress. Some major influences that that affect food choice are biological determinants, economic determinants, physical determinants, social determinants, and psychological determinants. A mode of operation that can be observed is the biological purpose that food serves; to put nutrients into our body. Humans need energy and nutrients in order to survive and will respond to the feelings of hunger or satisfaction of appetite. The central nervous system is involved in controlling the balance between hunger, appetite stimulation and food intake....
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