Poor consuming habits of university students can contribute to future overall health difficulties

May possibly 25 2023

A UBC Okanagan researcher is cautioning that a person’s poor consuming habits established in the course of post-secondary research can contribute to future overall health difficulties such as obesity, respiratory illnesses and depression.

Dr. Joan Bottorff, a Professor with UBCO’s College of Nursing, is 1 of many international researchers who published a multi-internet site study hunting at the consuming habits of university students. Virtually 12,000 healthcare students from 31 universities in China participated in the study that aimed to establish the association among consuming behaviors, obesity and many illnesses.

The point, says Dr. Bottorff, is that a lot of poor consuming habits start at university and can continue for decades.

We know a lot of students consume higher-calorie meals along with sugary foods and drinks and there is lots of proof to show these types of consuming behaviours can lead to obesity. These are not the only habits that lead to obesity, but they are crucial and cannot be ruled out.”

Dr. Joan Bottorff, Professor with UBCO’s College of Nursing

The study, published not too long ago in Preventive Medicine Reports, was led by Dr. Shihui Peng with the College of Medicine at China’s Jinan University. Whilst there is effectively-established analysis that hyperlinks unhealthy diets to a lot of chronic illnesses, this study aimed to show a connection among poor consuming habits and infectious illnesses such as colds and diarrhea.

Dr. Bottorff notes, due to the nature of the study, it was not achievable to show bring about and impact but the connection among poor consuming habits, obesity and respiratory illnesses have been effectively supported.

“There has been biomedical analysis that also supports this hyperlink among obesity and infectious illnesses, and most not too long ago this has been associated to COVID-19,” she adds. “We know from some of the current publications associated to COVID-19, obese men and women have been much more most likely to have serious circumstances and outcomes. Motives that have been presented for this improved vulnerability incorporate impaired breathing from the stress of added weight and poorer inflammatory and immune responses.”

A common student eating plan of higher-sugar or higher-calorie foods can develop into a extended-term problem as these habits can lead to obesity. Dr. Bottorff says there is proof to show that pressure and anxiousness can bring about overeating, but overeating can also lead to pressure and depression.

“The bottom line right here is that we should not be ignoring this threat pattern amongst young men and women at university. It is effectively documented that a substantial portion of students have unhealthy diets,” she adds. “The forms of foods they are consuming are linked to obesity. And this can lead to other overall health challenges that are not just about chronic illness but also infectious illnesses.”

Whilst Dr. Bottorff says students really should be taught about healthful consuming whilst at university the onus really should be on the college to deliver healthful, and very affordable, meals solutions for all students.

“We have to have to feel about the meals atmosphere that we deliver students. We have to have to assure that in our cafeterias and vending machines, there are healthful meals solutions so that they can consume on the go but also make healthful meals possibilities.”

It is not an problem going unnoticed. UBC Student Wellness and Meals Solutions perform with each other to address meals safety and meals literacy and recognize that a lack of very affordable meals solutions, coupled with the pressure of university life, can negatively effect students’ meals possibilities.

Meals insecure students have access to a low-barrier meals bank and a meal share system. Meanwhile, UBCO Meals Services’ culinary group prioritizes regional, organic and sustainably-sourced components, and functions with a registered dietitian to assure a wide assortment of meals solutions are offered to all diners.

Dr. Bottorff agrees there have been improvements to meals solutions in cafeterias and notes the drinks in a lot of vending machines have been rearranging so healthier products are at eye-level and sugary possibilities are reduced down.

“I know a lot of post-secondary schools are attempting to figure out how we can do far better and are attempting to address these challenges,” she adds. “It is terrific, due to the fact 4 or 5 years ago, we weren’t. So, I feel we’re on the appropriate road, but I feel we’re a extended way from completed.”


University of British Columbia Okanagan campus

Journal reference:

Peng, S., et al. (2023) Does obesity associated consuming behaviors only influence chronic illnesses? A nationwide study of university students in China. Preventive Medicine Reports. doi.org/ten.1016/j.pmedr.2023.102135.

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