Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Freshman Fifteen

             I am a freshman at The University of Toledo, and have been here for about a month. College is so different from high school, and since I am on my own, everything is my choice. From going to classes, all the way to deciding to go out, I have so much freedom. And with all these choices comes food. Everyone obviously needs to eat food, but to what extent. Here at the university there are two different meal plans a freshman can get; either fifteen meals a week or nineteen. If the meals aren’t used by the end of the week, you loose them, but you can swipe as many or few times a day as you want. I understand they don’t want to loose money, but when you loose the meals at the end of the week, it encourages people to use the total amount, increasing the amount of food eaten, leading to the freshman fifteen. I know not everyone will use all there meal swipes just to eat, but it does happen. I think there should be other ways so you can save your meal plans, and eat less a day.

 I know everyone is different, but I usually eat fruit or a breakfast bar for breakfast, and then eat food in the cafeteria for lunch and dinner. By this logic, I use less than 15 meal swipes a week, which is the minimum for freshman. With that being the minimum plan, they are basically encouraging you to continuously eat.

Usually eating a lot is bad, but it depends on what you eat. Everyday at the cafeteria there is salad, fresh fruit, tons of fresh vegetables and healthy food, but what would someone eat that when they could be having tons of pizza and fries and fried food? ….I think that is the worst problem here! Since at home, teenagers ate mostly what there moms made for dinner, but now, it’s their own choice. And with every choice comes consequences. Yes, sometimes fried food sounds better but what are the college students, like me, willing to sacrifice to eat that. Are they willing to die younger because a heart attack or high blood pressure? Are they willing to not be able to walk across campus without getting tired? I know some of these are extreme, but honestly, you can’t expect to eat bad food in college and just be ok over time. It is not ok.

There have been so many studies on gaining weight in college, and food is a big issue. Yes, there are other factors that can affect your weight like stress, drinking, and working out, but food is a major issue. I look at some of my friends and what they eat, and it’s disgusting. Yes, they might be skinny and have a high metabolism, but that does not mean it is ok to just eat pizza and a sandwich for lunch and skip the fruit and vegetables. It honestly makes me sick to think about eating all that junk! We all need to do something about it. I’m in college and it is directly affecting me, but unless people are aware, our nation is going to keep getting fatter. This is a huge problem and I read the freshman fifteen is turning into the freshman thirty. Can things keep getting worse? Our nation can’t afford it and we need to help!

Torie Nicholas

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