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August 22, 2011
CORVALLIS, Ore.College students are flunking Nutrition 101" by not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, The findings reveal students arent even eating one serving per dayfar from the recommended five daily servings.
Oregon State University researchers surveyed the eating habits of 582 college students, a majority of which were first-year students. Male students consumed about five servings a week of fruits and vegetables, compared to female students who ate about four servings. Female students had lower fiber intake, while males consumed more fat in their diet. Overall, the females had better eating habits, including skipping fewer meals, eating in the college dining halls more frequently, and reading food labels. Both males and females were consuming more than 30% of their calories from fat, which exceeds the American Dietetic Associations recommendation of no more than 30% a week.
We found that students skipped meals fairly frequently, which could account for some of the lack of fruits and veggies," said Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise and sport science at Oregon State University and one of the studys authors. Still, even accounting for fewer meals consumed, the students were on average not always eating even one serving of fruits or vegetables per day, far below the USDA guidelines."
The researchers suggested a multi-prong approach to improve college students' nutrition: "Some of the points of intervention include peers, classmates, dormitory management, on and off-campus eating establishments, and many other campus groups and organizations."
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