Right nu­tri­tion is a must in col­lege cam­puses

Khaleej Times - - HEALTH & LIFESTYLE - Priya Ar­jun Cer­ti­fied holis­tic well­ness coach

Col­lege life is an im­por­tant phase where one devel­ops habits and be­hav­iours that will af­fect their life­long food and life­style choices. Also, the tran­si­tion to col­lege from school poses chal­lenges like stressin­duced eat­ing, nu­tri­tion be­com­ing lesser pri­or­ity, fo­cus­ing on ad­just­ing to new en­vi­ron­ment and han­dling new re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Sand­wiched be­tween exam pres­sures, project sub­mis­sion dead­lines, so­cial life and club ac­tiv­i­ties, col­lege kids face dif­fi­culty in man­ag­ing time ef­fec­tively. Healthy eat­ing takes a back seat and they tend to skip reg­u­lar meals and make it up with high calo­rie snacks. On the other hand, there are those opt­ing for fad di­ets to lose weight. All these can re­sult in nu­tri­tional de­pri­va­tion lead­ing to fa­tigue, poor me­tab­o­lism and hor­monal im­bal­ances.

Though some of the cam­pus cafe­te­rias of­fer healthy food op­tions, they are lim­ited in va­ri­eties and stu­dents turn to­ward con­ve­nience foods. A col­lege cam­pus hostelite in Dubai says: “We have shared kitchens on each floor. But a lot of us find it eas­ier to or­der from the fast food out­lets in the cam­pus vicin­ity rather than pre­par­ing our own meals”.

There are cam­puses tak­ing ac­tive in­ter­est in spread­ing nu­tri­tional aware­ness. One such ex­am­ple is Zayed Uni­ver­sity, Dubai Cam­pus which has set up the ‘food rev­o­lu­tion clus­ter’ led by Yun­sun Chung-Shin, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of graphic design. “Our ob­jec­tive is to turn UAE into a healthy des­ti­na­tion and our ac­tiv­i­ties are aimed at cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive change through a co-design ap­proach. One of our ini­tia­tives is to bring healthy and sus­tain­ably pro­duced food to the cam­pus com­mu­nity, where stu­dents grow or­ganic pro­duce in the cam­pus gar­den”.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity also lies with the par­ents to pre­pare their wards for healthy col­lege life, dur­ing the teenage years it­self. This can be done by teach­ing them to pre­pare nu­tri­tious and easy-to-make recipes and cre­at­ing an aware­ness to make con­scious food choices.

We have shared kitchens on each floor. But a lot of us find it eas­ier to or­der from the fast food out­lets in the cam­pus vicin­ity rather than pre­par­ing our own meals” A hostelite Dubai

Our ob­jec­tive is to turn UAE into a healthy des­ti­na­tion and our ac­tiv­i­ties are aimed at cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive change through a code­sign ap­proach. ” Yun­sun Chung-Shin­hostelite as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor, graphic design

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