Running from class to class barely leaves enough time for sufficient and healthy meals. Many times walking around campus, you will see students munching on a bag of chips or eating a personal pizza from Papa Johns. There are not many healthy options for students to grab on the go, and even if there are they are more expensive than the unhealthy ones. As a college student, money is not as easily accessible; going with the cheaper unhealthier option is usually the case. Obesity and eating disorders are rising issues in the United States and it is something we need to face with a more serious attitude.
There are a number of reasons for obesity to have occurred in our society. It may be a genetic contributor, a motivation to eat, a persons eating pattern, food preferences, as well as a lack of exercise. Eating patterns may vary. Many students sometimes think that cutting out a meal or two may help to lose weight, but at the end of the day you may end up eating more in one meal and eliminating the whole process of losing weight. Physical activity and motivation to exercise has slowly decreased.
Different contributors factor in the issue of obesity in today’s society. For example, our parents have a large influence on our daily intake. Up until we graduate high school what is provided, or not provided at home, is our daily intake. If our dinner meal consists of McDonald’s fast food restaurant or ordering in pizza every night, then these are habits we will take with us. It also can go to the opposite extreme where our parents can solely feed us foods that under nourish our adolescents as well.
Peers also play a large influence on our every day diet and exercise. Do your friends participate in athletic activity or hang out at McDonald’s? These activities influence who you are or may be your deciding factor to with whom you hang out.
The school and community play a large role in your eating and exercising habits. Within cafeterias, vending machines carry items such as potato chips, chocolate bars, sodas and high sugared juices. Water is available, but sodas and chips are more tempting.
On the other end of the spectrum, eating disorders are reaching scary statistic rates today.
Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia are two disorders highly seen in society. Anorexia Nervosa is a disorder where people obsess over food and weight. To have this disorder, you must be fifteen pounds under weight, and have an excessive obsession with weight. Bulimia is a binge-purge syndrome. The people who engage in this style of eating disorder, their behaviors are as follows in order to avoid gaining weight: fasting, vomiting, and abusing laxatives. It must occur at least twice a week. Weight influences how people live everyday. Ten percent of people living with bulimia or anorexia are males, which means that most of society with an eating disorder is women.
Media also plays an important role on the way women view their bodies. Society looks up to the women in the spotlight and for those who diet and exercise in order to be the skinniest are placing the importance of these activities in the wrong area.
Eating healthy and exercising regularly can help improve our daily lives. We should not take eating to either extent, whether it is over eating, making poor choices in eating habits, or taking exercising to either extremes of over exercising or not exercising at all. Our motives for dieting and exercising should be to become a healthy person, not to be the skinniest.
Suzanne Brady is a West Chester student. She can be reached at SB619873@wcupa.edu.