College Enivornment Table of Contents Introduction Page 1 The Freshmen Fifteen Page 2 Dining Hall Menus Page 2 Vegetarians Page 3 Eating Disorders Page 3 Causes of Anorexia Nervosa Page 5 Personal Hygiene Page 6 Illnesses Page 6 Mononucleosis Page 7 STDs Page 8 HIV virus Page 9 On Campus Health Services Page 9 Introduction When one goes away to college, their life changes dramatically. They are forced to make changes in their own lives in order to adapt to college life. When one is in high school and living at home, their eating habits and personal hygiene practices are for the most part controlled by their parents. They are told what to eat and when to eat it. They are told to keep their room clean and to take their vitamins, etc. When one moves away to college, they are on their own.
There is no one telling them to clean their room, or to do laundry or what they have to eat. In some colleges and universities, it is required that freshmen live on campus and eat at least two meals a day in the dining hall. This isn’t necessarily for the university to monitor a student’s eating habits but rather to get the student acquainted with the campus and other people living there. Food served in college dining halls has not been known for it’s nutritional value. However, over the past couple of years college chefs have been working to change that. While a lot of students have committed to eating the healthier foods and trying to stay healthy, the vast majority lives on pizza and taco bell or any other cheap fast food chain that is open until the late hours of the night. College is a fast paced environment and fast food caters to college students.
In this fast paced environment, students more often than not neglect their health and personal hygiene and the consequences range from obesity to deadly eating disorders. “The Freshmen fifteen” is one of the most dreaded rights of passage into college. It is a well-known fact among college students, that one gains fifteen pounds during the first year of college life. Women are the main targets of this incident but men are also affected. When everything around a person is changing, that person must also change. Studying hard and writing many papers goes hand in hand with eating pizza, drinking beer and going for days without sleep. A person who has eaten healthy for their entire life can get pulled into this lifestyle very easily.
It seems that almost everyone on the campus lives like this and when you look at a student’s schedule, eating healthy would almost take too much time. It is much easier for one to order a pizza or drive down to the Taco Bell pick up window than it is to cook a well balanced meal. College dining halls have never been known for the nutritional value of their food. When a dining hall or cafeteria is mentioned, casserole and macaroni and cheese come to mind. However, college chefs have been working towards a better, more nutritious and diverse menu.
“We’re seeing a change in ingredients, not a lot of heavy creams and fats, but a demand for rotisserie and spices,” says Lars Kronmark of the Culinary Institute of America. “It’s up to the students to choose. They can still get french fries and fried fish, but it used to be they didn’t have a choice,” he adds. While colleges are working toward a healthy more diverse menu in the dining halls, students can be very critical when it comes to food. Lisa Dwinnell, a chef at Smith College for over twelve years, once served blackened catfish.
The Students were disgusted with the meal choice and the next day there were empty pizza boxes littered all over the campus. When the healthy choice for food does not satisfy the taste buds, students turn to the easy greasy option. With more international students enrolling in American universities, Dining halls try to cater to the ethnic tastes of these new students. These students can be tough food critics as well. “When we put something that doesn’t belong in a dish, they know,” Kronmark states. Just because there are straw mushrooms and bamboo shoots in a dish does not necessarily make the meal Asian. If this dish were to be called an Asian meal, someone from Thailand is sure to be insulted and will stress to the chef that they don’t eat those things. Even students who are from the U.S are very critical when it comes to ethnic foods.
These days everyone is well traveled and they know about all different kinds of cultures. People will no longer settle for macaroni and cheese or tuna casserole. Being a vegetarian is the new big trend on college campuses. It appeals to all kinds of students. If a Big Mac addict were to move in with a vegetarian, chances are he will become a vegetarian as well.
It draws all kinds of people into the lifestyle because it looks good. It looks upper class and healthy. There is also a seasonal change among students eating habits. In the fall, when everyone is returning to school, everyone reaches for the junk food. It is faster and it makes the transition from summer break to fall term easier.
The closer it gets to spring however, the more students begin to think about bathing suits and spring break. One of the major health problems among college students is eating disorders. “Eating disorders are at an alarming high on college campuses, “says Melissa Martilotta, director of a university’s nutrition clinic. However, statistics are only based on the students that come in for help. This does not include all of the other students who are suffering from an eating disorder but have not sought professional help.
The two most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia. Persons with Anorexia Nervosa deliberately attempt to lose weight through self-starvation. Even though they may be extremely underweight, they see themselves as fat and deny any problem with their eating habits. Persons with Bulimia engage themselves in frequent binge eating in which they eat large amounts of food and then purge themselves. Persons with Bulimia feel out of control in their cycle of bingeing and purging. Both of these disorders are very common among college age women. Bulimia is the more common disorder.
Many of the people with these disorders are reluctant to admit they have a problem and seek help on their own. They often come to the attention of their friends and family when they experience a dramatic weight loss and the only way that they will get help is if they are forced into a treatment center by a loved one. There are several causes to eating disorders. Often, personal trauma can lead to obsessive dieting. “I have friends that when something went wrong with a relationship, they stopped eating.
They didn’t realize they were losing weight; they didn’t think they were skinny enough,” says Andrea Boyer, a sophomore at PSU. ” Some are still struggling with their disorders now even though the relationship is over,” she adds. Another aspect in the college student’s life that could lead to an eating disorder is the media. MTV hosts a massive spring break party in Cancun, Mexico every year. All of the best looking college students attend and run around on the beach in their bikinis and swim trunks for a few weeks.
It is the party of the year. It is the place to be. However, in order to get on camera or to participate in any of the activities sponsored by MTV, one must have the perfect body. Achieving this perfect body becomes an obsession and students will do anything to attain it. They will starve themselves, take diet pills, work out for several hours a day, etc. College life can be very stressful.
One can easily feel as if they have no control over their life. With the stress of term papers and exams, relationships and finances it can be easy to fall apart. Some students feel as if the only thing they can control in their life is diet. If this becomes the only thing a person feels like they can control, they have a tendency to put themselves on a very strict diet. This diet might be a strict vegetarian diet or it could become as extreme as Anorexia Nervosa. Daniel Johns of the band Silverchair suffered from Anorexia Nervosa for a few years.
He could not deal with the stress of touring and recording. He felt like the only thing he had control over was his diet. Therefore, Daniel Johns became Anorexic. So, it is not just women who suffer from eating disorders. Although, it is more common because women have a higher fat ratio than men do and they are expected to look like the girls on the mag …