Although many students expect to gain weight in college, a TCU dietitian said students can maintain a healthy weight with a few adjustments to their normal routine.
One third of all college undergraduates are overweight, and this number is steadily rising, according to a study led by University of New Hampshire.
In five years, the percentage of obese college students has risen from 27.4 percent to 29.2 percent, according to a study from the American Health Association. That the increase is directly connected to childhood habits, said TCU dietitian Lauren Swonke.
“It really does start from childhood, in the environment that we grow up in often times we and our parents are very busy,” she said. “It’s hard to be home to eat a meal…studies show eating dinner at home around the table is beneficial to a healthy weight. Sometimes I see freshmen that tell me unfortunately they don’t like any fresh foods because they are just not accustomed to them.”
College might also be the first time students are in control of what they eat.
“Now you have all foods available to you at all times,” Swonk said.
She suggested students engage in light exercise around the campus, listen to their bodies when they tells them to stop and visit the campus dietitian.
“ Intuitive eating is when we pay attention to our body’s signals that are telling us how hungry and how full we are what sounds good to us to eat at any time, but then also how those foods make us feel,” Swonke said. College campuses can actually be great places for walking or riding bikes, and if you liked to play any type of sports when you were in high school, typically in university settings, there are opportunities to play intramural sports… and there’s almost always a gym on university campuses… and also they can go and see their campus dietitian.”