Healthy Eating Barriers for College Students

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My behavior change is to try and start eating better by making a few adjustments to my diet and to start making more health conscious decisions. The transition has made it harder to eat a balanced diet as I am sure it has for many other college students. Poor eating habits can be a result from the transition into college which often worsens dietary habits and is what lead to the study performed in the article Factors Influencing Healthy Eating Habits Among College Students: An Application of the Health Belief Model (Deshpande, M. Brasil, & D. Brasil, 2009, p. 146). This study is very important because poor eating habits contribute to weight problems that can continue on during later years of life. Many studies have shown that college students often have poor dietary habits and the purpose of this study is to establish what factors have an effect on food selection and also to test the Health Benefit Model (HBM) (p. 147). College students from a Canadian college were give $5 for participating in a 20 minute survey which manipulated the participant’s hypothetical health conditions and asked them to make food product choices. It also had questions that asked the participant’s age, height, weight and gender. The sample consisted of 194 undergraduate students, 45% female and 55% male (p. 150-151). The results of the study showed that, “in general, the relationship of dietary status and cues on behavior intention via importance of a healthy diet, the relationship of importance with behavior intention through its relationship with barriers, and the relationship of barriers with behavior intention via the influence of efficacy seem to hold true among both males and females.” They also found that the features of food were not able to pr... ... middle of paper ... student who is trying to better their dietary habits. Not just to beat the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen”, but also so that I may continue good health through the later years of my life. My goal has not changed but my plan has. My plan has changed in that I need to plan ahead what I will eat so that I do not make spontaneous unhealthy decisions just because it was easier or more convenient. If I do this then this will help better my personal health and help me reach my behavior change, which in turn can help me better myself in other ways as well. What I learned from this article is that males and females are influenced differently when making decisions about food. I also learned that HBM is when an individual perceives a threat from a disease and perceived benefits from a preventative action exceed barriers, the individual is likely to take the preventative action.
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