Various eating habits find some students skipping meals
- December 08, 2020
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UPDATED: Sept. 22, 2020 at 6:23 p.m.
The “freshman 15,” is a well-known term referring to the amount of weight first-year students supposedly gain as they adjust to unlimited meal plans, campus cafés and snacking. But many college students, including those at Syracuse University, have transitioned to a routine of skipping meals.
This shift from eating three meals a day to ignoring proper meal times stems from the numerous time restraints college students deal with on a daily basis.
Many SU students can agree that we often skip meals for a variety of reasons, including a lack of time to stop and eat between classes or a limited availability of food that we would actually want to purchase and eat.
SU sophomore Emily Gold said her “fasting” was not really attributed to her schedule, but to her dietary wants instead.
“I’m up by 9 o’clock each morning, but I don’t have an appetite for food,” Gold said. “Instead, it’s just a repeating cycle of coffee and water during my workday, until about 6 p.m., when I’ll have my one and only meal of the day.
Gold also experienced the physical effects of skipping meals. Gold had “really bad headaches at the end of the day before she sat down to eat.”
Students can fix their eating habits by simply taking the time to “check in with their bodies every so often to assess how they feel, both physically and emotionally,” said Rachel Razza, a professor in SU’s Department of Human Development and Family Science.
“(By) acknowledging any physical sensations or emotions that arise, students may increase their awareness of hunger and also start to recognize other signs that their body is telling them that it needs food and/or hydration, such as headaches, fatigue, fogginess or irritability,” Razza said.
There is a clear connection between one’s food intake and their general mental health, according to the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability. Skipping meals can lead to mood swings and can result in “bigger emotional responses, poor concentration, increased stress, and an overall lower sense of well-being,” the center found.
Students at SU are extremely busy. Between socializing, completing demanding class work, volunteering and living through a global pandemic, eating properly and frequently is difficult for students to make sure they’re doing.
The practice of skipping meals that college students have absorbed into their routine doesn’t have any benefits and can affect their mental and physical health in the long term. Instead, you could try to incorporate eating full meals or allow yourself to snack periodically throughout the day, just to be sure that you get those meals in.
Christian Andreoli is a sophomore history major. His column appears bi-weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be followed on Twitter at @candreoli12.
CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, a quote from a source was fabricated. The source has since been removed from the post. The Daily Orange is conducting an investigation into the previous work of the columnist, who is no longer a writer for the publication.