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Aubrey Oliver

Argumentative Paper Draft


Ms. Consuelo
23 November 2015

Unhealthy nutrition within the college student body is a situation that has
gotten worse over time. With multiple fingers being pointed at multiple factors that contribute
to this health crisis, a prime suspect is yet to be found. From external culprits such as fast food
restaurants, to internal failures such as exercising and a students failure to exercise, multiple
causes of unhealthiness within the student body can be contributed to the overall decline of
student health. However, through careful research and inquiry of various sources, Ive found that
the main culprit lay within colleges themselves and the student body. With that said, the solution
also can be found within colleges and the student body. While the purpose of this paper is to
inform health officials as well as students themselves of the cause of unhealthy college student
nutrition, Ill also be proposing a solution to this crisis. At the same time, Ill be examining both
sources while acknowledging the one that I believe to be wrong. Through faulty menus to high
stress levels, each supposed cause of unhealthy college nutrition will be examined as I draw out a
single conclusion and solution.
As mentioned above, there are many factors that contribute to unhealthy college student
nutrition within our modern day society. There are culprits in both the internal body such as
universities and students themselves, as well as the external body, such as fast food restaurants.
No matter the cause of the crisis, however, there is no denying that there is one. According to

Aubrey Oliver
Argumentative Paper Draft
Ms. Consuelo
23 November 2015
Nurse Practitioner Sarah E Gores, author of the article Addressing nutritional issues in the
college aged client: Strategies for the nurse practitioner,
Healthcare providers can no longer deny that obesity is a raging epidemic in the United
States... The era of youth as a protective factor seems to be ending; todays adolescents
will be obese from an even younger age, leading to earlier and more severe complications
such as heart disease, joint disease, and diabetes. (2008)
Above are just some of the crucial health issues are unfortunate side effects of the very
real problem that bad nutrition has become. That said, identifying the main cause of this is
crucial if our society wants to be stopped. As a nurse practitioner, Gores is able to identify certain
issues within her research has provided her possible explanations for this increasing unhealthy
streak. In her article, Gores divide factions of her research as possible causes for bad health.
After that, she goes into great detail as she highlights the health concerns in each category
describing what factors can lead to bad habits. . Like myself, Gores primary belief is that college
students and the colleges themselves partake greatly in this health crisis. For example, in her
category labeled, Traits of College students, she explains that,
Moving from a restrictive, parent-controlled environment to the virtually total freedom
of the residence hall can lead to unhealthy habits or perpetuate those already ingrained.
Many of todays children grew up with meals-on-the-go or eating out most nights of the
week.. (2008)

Aubrey Oliver
Argumentative Paper Draft
Ms. Consuelo
23 November 2015
In this, a possible explanation as to why students may fall into unhealthy habits can be seen.
From personal experience, I can say that moving from a home where my food choices were
controlled, to a university like UTEP where I have the money and a meal plane to buy what I
want when I want it, as well as a stove an oven to cook for myself when I see it fit. At the
beginning of the school year, I fell into a very unhealthy habit of eating things consecutively that
I would not normally eat at home. From hamburgers and French fries three times a week, to coke
with every meal, I let my freedom dictate my food choices. I stopped a little while after though,
after my mother found out, and just out of a desire to be healthier. However, as seen in research,
not all students are easily able to break this habit.
Similar to Gores strong belief that college students health lay within the students
themselves, or that the primary cause of unhealthiness can be seen within them, other writers
believe similar. The article Eating Habits in College, by the Daily Pincetonian writer, Matthew
Choi Taitano, highlights other instances in which unhealthy college student nutrition falls at fault
of the students themselves. For example, like Gores, Tatiano also highlights the growing obesity
crisis by opening his article with a debate regarding the, Freshman 15 myth and the criticism
of experts who deny its existence. In his article Tatiano states that, A 2006 report by
the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that college freshmen gained weight at
a rate of 5.5 times greater than the rest of the population, (Tatiano 2015). As he highlights
reasons as to why it is a real crisis, he also gives possible explanations for students developing
unhealthy traits that lead to obesity and other health problems. Certain possibilities regarding ill
health that Tatiano suggest range from stress to student eating choices. Similar to Gores, Tatiano

Aubrey Oliver
Argumentative Paper Draft
Ms. Consuelo
23 November 2015
emphasizes the freedom of food choices, and attributes this as a huge fact of unhealthy college
student nutrition. Though Tatiano elaborates more on what certain kinds of food choices can
contribute to the health crisis,
Especially at schools like Princeton, where large amounts of food are readily available
through buffet-styled dining halls, late meal and study breaks, this problem seems to be more
easily exacerbatedThese unhealthy eating habits are only made worse during high-pressure
times such as midterms and finals, when eating junk food may be seen as a way to cope with
stress. (Tatiano 2015)
I myself have a meal plan here at the university, and because of that I am given access to a buffet
of food whenever I go into the union. And like Tatiano explains in his article, it has negative
health consequences.
While using examples in which food choices can cause unhealthy nutrition amongst
students, Tatiano also elaborates on other factors. Like mentioned above, he stated that stress
could be a potential contributor of weight gain, a side effect of unhealthy college nutrition as
well. Very much like Tatiano, Julia A. Jensen, suggest other reasons aside from food intake as o
why college students have fallen into very unhealthy habits. Her article, Weight Stability and
Influences upon Eating and Exercise Behaviors Among College Students centered around
research conducted at Oregon State University with the intent of finding out what factors lead to
unhealthiness in students. In research, Jensen noted that,

Aubrey Oliver
Argumentative Paper Draft
Ms. Consuelo
23 November 2015
The Phase 2 focus groups discussions revealed that most college students could describe
a healthy lifestyle, but may fail to practice such. Lack of time and money, as well as other
priorities were all sighted as reasons for not practicing healthy behaviors. Those that were most
successful in practicing healthy eating and exercise habits believed that success in one habit led
to success in the other. (2007).
Jensen, like both Gores and Tatiano, accredits unhealthy student nutrition to the students
themselves.
While the overwhelming amount of evidence suggest that the problem regarding bad
health amongst college students is an internal problem, others will argue differently. Consider the
article, Communicating nutrition information: Usability and usefulness of the interactive menus
of national fast food chain restaurants, by Carolyn Lin, Yi Mou, and Carolyn Lagoe suggest
fixing fast food restaurants menus in order to combat ill health, rather than working with students
and administration themselves.

Because the health crisis arises within students themselves, the solution is easier to find.
Eating habits, stress, and exercise seem to contribute to the bulk of unhealthy nutrition. With that
said, perhaps the student body and colleges could work together in order to defeat this crisis. An
as strong emphasize can be placed on health, just as it is on academics. Food buffet choices can
be altered in order to offer healthier food suggestions. Simple steps done by both universities and
students together can lead to healthier college student nutrition.