Chrystal Slowley’s eportfolio

English

Chrystal Slowley

March 26, 2015

Arg. Essay Draft 2.

College Students and Poor Nutrition

Many students, who are enrolled in City University of New York colleges, aren’t always given the benefit of quick, inexpensive, healthy food options. Fast food restaurants are known to ensure quick quality food but rarely advertise their high fat content. Unlike students on state university campuses, CUNY students typically opt to eat outside of school, because it is less expensive; and due to being surrounded by fast food restaurants, they’re not given many good choices. These food choices may negatively affect the CUNY student’s finances, health, and overall future food making decisions.

Financial stability can be hard to balance for a CUNY student. Whilst paying for yearly tuition, these students are responsible for their own transportation, which can cost over one thousand dollars annually, and then manage their own healthy food options. In those cases, fast food can present itself as the student’s best choice. Fast food restaurants are widely dispersed throughout cities across the United States of America. In New York alone, there are over seventeen thousand fast food restaurants which are constantly employing, making billions of dollars, and are even in the making. Surrounding these popular restaurants, which are literally on every corner, are businesses and schools where paying customers can always be found. For those students who can afford certain healthy food options, like cooking a balanced meal at home, or stopping at a local organic food store, getting their proper nutrition shouldn’t be a hassle, but that’s not always the case. With fast food restaurants, like McDonald’s who serve burgers, fries, parfaits, cookies, and nuggets for just around a dollar, it’s less expensive and convenient for students to make a bad food choice that will temporarily fill their stomachs.

Health, alongside the convenience of fast food, can make nutrition an afterthought for CUNY students. In most schools, students are introduced to the food pyramid which includes the necessary servings of oil, fat, sugar, meat, dairy, vegetables, and whole grains. Although it should be followed throughout their lifespan, college students tend to eat fast food to help with stress which they’re constantly undergoing, but they eat these foods more often than recommended. Foods that are packaged or processed tend to carry more sugar, sodium, and fat to extend their shelf life, but do not provide the proper nutrients home cooked or healthy meals do. Constant over ingestion of these foods can potentially lead to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other health debilitations. If you look at a McDonald’s menu, a Big Mac is about 540 calories which is a quarter of the recommended calorie intake. Of course there are other options such as salads and apple slices, which carry fewer calories, but wouldn’t substitute for the recommended portions of protein and starch needed in a balanced diet, nor will it be filling enough. Nutrition is vital in keeping up energy levels and hydration which is important to keep students alert and focused. Without proper food intake students can become sluggish, anxious, and unfocused on their school work.

Unhealthy eating can negatively affect the student’s overall future food making decisions. Foods which contain high levels of sugar, salt and fat typically leave long lasting cravings for such foods. A survey taken on student’s perspective on junk foods, concluded that, “High salt content foods can be addictive substances that stimulate dopamine receptors in the brain, leading to increase in craving and hunger.” Vinay Gopal. For students who are prone to stress induced eating, it is likely that they will have difficulty shaking the desire for fast food to make better healthy food choices. In America, the most popular flavors are sweet and salty, so to comply with demands, fast food manufacturers use that to their advantage and sell food based on what the people want.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.