Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

College students not eating enough fruits and veggies, study finds

Date:
August 19, 2011
Source:
Oregon State University
Summary:
College students aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables -- in fact, a new study shows students aren't even eating one serving per day, far from the recommended five daily servings. The study, which surveyed the eating habits of 582 college students, compares male and female students, but found that both were not getting the proper amount of fruits and vegetables.

College students aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables -- in fact, a new study shows students aren't even eating one serving per day, far from the recommended five daily servings.

The study by Oregon State University researchers surveyed the eating habits of 582 college students, a majority of which were first-year students. The study, now online in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, compares male and female students, but found that both were not getting the proper amount of fruits and vegetables. Male students had about five servings a week, slightly higher than female students who self-reported eating about four servings of fruits and vegetables.

Female students had lower fiber intake, while males tended to consume more fat in their diet. Overall, the females had better eating habits, including skipping fewer meals, eating in the college dining halls more frequently, and reading food labels.

"We found that students skipped meals fairly frequently, which could account for some of the lack of fruits and veggies," said Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise and sport science at Oregon State University and one of the study's authors.

"Still, even accounting for fewer meals consumed, the students were on average not always eating even one serving of fruits or vegetables per day, far below the USDA guidelines."

Both males and females were consuming more than 30 percent of their calories from fat, which exceeds the American Dietetic Association's recommendation of no more than 30 percent a week.

Cardinal, who is an expert in the psychological and social aspects of health and exercise, said the larger take-away message is that proper eating and nutrition is not integrated enough into our society. He said the surveyed students came from OSU, where healthy options are available in dining halls.

"We are not teaching youth how to be self-sustaining," Cardinal said. "Home economics and nutrition classes have all but disappeared from our schools in the K-12 system. There is a fundamental lack of understanding on how to eat well in a very broad sense."

Cardinal said studies show that when people prepare food at home they tend to eat better and consume fewer calories. He said their survey showed that students ate out a lot and consumed at least one fast food meal per week.

"We have a cooking camp for (elementary school) kids here at OSU that teaches kids how to shop for their food, prepare it and then clean up after themselves," he said. "These are essential skills every child should know, and it will stay with them long after they leave school."

Cardinal pointed to recent concerning trends, such as in Texas where health education is no longer required by the state. In addition, many school districts, including ones in Oregon, have cut home economics/nutrition classes due to budget constraints.

"Health is an area being neglected, yet all the available research show that healthy habits and healthy kids can lead to better academic success," Cardinal said. "We are doing a disservice to our kids by not teaching them these essential life skills."

OSU alum Kin-Kit "Ben" Li was lead author on the paper, which was funded with a grant from the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation. The study was also co-authored by associate professor Vicki Ebbeck and former OSU Ph.D. students Rebecca Concepcion, Tucker Readdy, Hyo Lee and Erica Woekel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kin-Kit Li, Rebecca Y. Concepcion, Hyo Lee, Bradley J. Cardinal, Vicki Ebbeck, Erica Woekel, R. Tucker Readdy. An Examination of Sex Differences in Relation to the Eating Habits and Nutrient Intakes of University Students. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2010.10.002

Cite This Page:

Oregon State University. "College students not eating enough fruits and veggies, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817142847.htm>.
Oregon State University. (2011, August 19). College students not eating enough fruits and veggies, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817142847.htm
Oregon State University. "College students not eating enough fruits and veggies, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817142847.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins