BY MIA MORALES
We all know the importance of having healthy, timely meals in the course of the day all too well. However, sometimes we get caught up in our busy schedules and forget to replenish our bodies’ energy source appropriately thus exposing ourselves to the risk of developing some form of nutrient deficiency. The situation is much worse when it comes to college students. When people go to college, a healthy diet seems to drop to the bottom of their priority lists no matter how diet-conscious they were prior to attending college. While sometimes this trend is somehow justifiable — when studying for the finals and keeping up with assignment submission deadlines — other times a good diet just has to take a back seat for no good reason.
College Student Diet Concerns
A typical college student diet only extends to his/her immediate needs. During the weekend, they will mostly consume whatever seems to have the ability to sop up alcohol faster. If the finals are approaching, a typical college student will be concerned about extending his/her night cram session and will eat anything that facilitates it. Other times their diet will just depend on what the surrounding restaurants can deliver, or what foods can be prepared in a microwave. This leads to unhealthy eating habits among college students across America.
Reasons Why College Students Have Poor Eating Habits
Limited access to healthy foods, lack of finances, peer pressure, and lifestyle changes all contribute to erratic eating patterns among college students. The lack of variety vis-à-vis diet choices makes college students resort to high-fat snacks that lack essential macronutrients. In addition to that, college students skip meals, and their managed food intake is often disordered or non-existent. This can be attributed to heavy academic loads in the form of assignments, part-time jobs, and irregular class schedules.
As a college student, you may have the time to sit down and have a healthy meal now and then, but your wallet might not allow it. Therefore, you can explore other means of delivering essential nutrients to your body through your physician. Nutrition meals, oral pills, and injections can be an effective method of administering supplemental nutrients to your body so that you can maintain a healthy life.
Common Nutrient Deficiencies
The number of college students with nutrient deficiency is high, and the most common cases revolve around Zinc, Calcium, and Vitamin B12. Studies show that about 59% of American college students are nutrient deficient.
Lack of vitamin B12 is prevalent among the American population, especially college students. This particular vitamin is water-soluble, which means it should be consumed daily. It is only found in animal products, so if you don’t have enough of those in your diet, you are likely to develop a deficiency. Students who are vegans or vegetarians can supplement their vitamin B12 intake with the help of a physician.
Zinc is found in meat products, lentils, and tempeh. Zinc deficiencies are more common among vegans and vegetarians as well as alcoholics. Lack of zinc in your body results in a weak immune system and lack of appetite.
Calcium is mostly found in red meats such as beef. Calcium deficiency is mostly common in women and girls. Lack of enough calcium in the body can manifest in the form of brittle nails, restless leg syndrome, and constant tiredness.
The above list doesn’t contain all the nutrient deficiencies a person could have, but it’s a good place to start looking if you show any of the symptoms mentioned. Some of these deficiencies only manifest when it’s too late, and if you consistently fail to consume healthy nutrient dense foods or supplement them, you will eventually develop one of these deficiencies.
Bio: Mia Morales is really passionate about health, nutrition, and what she puts in her body. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a glass of mint lemon water and a child on each hip. Who says mom’s aren’t super heroes?