Most Students Don't Eat Enough Fruits, Vegetables

September 14, 2018

About 63 percent of college students aren't eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, according to a new report by the American College Health Association.

Researchers Vinayak K. Nahar of Lincoln Memorial University, Manoj Sharma of Jackson State University and M. Allison Ford of the University of Mississippi looked at how to improve college students' diets -- their findings were published recently in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

"The eating habits we have as adults were often established while in college," Nahar said. "Enticing students to add more fruits and vegetables into their diets now is key, but we must then focus on making those changes permanent."

About 175 college students were also surveyed on their willingness to change their diet and increase their fruit and vegetable intake. Those participants suggested that cafeterias add vending machines that sell produce, increase the variety of fruit available on campus and improve the taste of meals.

According to the survey respondents, staying with a diet that includes the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables requires an "emotional shift" -- students deciding to eat healthy even when they're stressed. Enlisting family and friend support also helped sustain a healthy eating regimen.

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