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Healthy Diet for over seas Students

Healthy Diet for Overseas Students

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The cornerstone of good health is nutrition; there are many illnesses that can be prevented by taking in proper and healthy nutrition. However, sometimes people just eat without giving thoughts to what they are really eating. This is when one eats because he is tired and hungry, out of boredom, sadness, stress, happiness or simply for no reason. Overseas students sometimes may also be taking in foods out of these physical and emotional reasons.

Diet and healthy feeding habits have become crucial issues that are talked about every day in the modern days. According to Bauer Joy et al. (2005), we eat to live and survive, that is, to move muscles, to pump blood and to think thoughts. These are the basic roles of the food that we eat but to live and eat healthy, we need to eat the right kind of foods to live healthily according to Willett & Skerrett (2002). Nutritionists and health official have campaigns that sensitize people on the importance of good diet. They have also taught people what constitutes a good and balanced diet. People of all ages are required to eat well so as to keep away sicknesses and to maintain general body fitness. As the old saying goes, ‘ prevention is better than cure’ so it would be better to eat proper food diets and stay fit other than feed carelessly get feeding related health issues and later seek treatment. Overseas student happen to be a group in the world population that researcher have looked into their eating and feeding habits. According to Landow M.V (2006) to have a better tomorrow the current generations need to be healthy to cope with the day to day challenges.

The aim of this research is to find out what overseas student eat in college and if they take the right diet in their food intakes to supply the bodies with energy and good health. Practicing good diet and feeding habits in college enhances formation of proper eating habits throughout ones life. College students are aware of the foods that are healthy most of the times; they just do not get to take them, that is, the right food. Striking a balance between health feeding habits and good nutrition will help students to excel. Therefore, careful choices should be made while picking what to eat.


This paper seeks to investigate what overseas college student eat in order to determine if they take in healthy foods. It looks at what college student take in a day to day basis, what they never take and what they take at times. The kind of drinks that overseas students take is also another aspect that this paper seeks to establish.

Data was collected using questionnaires that were administered to students taking an introductory course to nutrition in Michigan University for the period between September 1990 and august 1991.The paper looks into the results of the data collected, the discussion and the summary and recommendations based on the research findings.


The types of food consumed by college students vary. These foods are Fruits and Vegetable, Meat, Bread, Pasta rice and noodles, sweet and see food. They consume these types of food at different proportions and frequencies. On every day basis, pasta, Bread, Rice and noodles form the largest proportions in college students’ diet, sweet form the least proportion while meat, Sea food, fruit and vegetable constitute equal proportions.

Sometimes fruit and vegetable, seafood and sweet form a large proportion followed by meat while pasta, rice, and noodles come last.

When it comes to drinks, on an every day basis milk, tea and coffee are consumed in a big proportion than other types of drinks, fruit juice, follows, and then soft drinks while alcohol forms the lowest proportion on a day to day basis.

There is a difference in diet and food consumption between what female and males over seas students take. Male student seem to prefer taking in fast food over female students. Female showed that they prefer to take whole meal bread over white bread while the male counter parts preferred to have white bread over the brown bread.

A big percentage of college students know that their personal studies and abilities are affected by what they take in their diet. However there is a small percentage that do not know or do not believe that there studies and performance can is affected by what they eat in their diet.


College students consume Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Bread, Pasta rice and noodles, sweet and see food. This is because these are kind of foods that are readily available when the students want to eat. 40% of the overseas students consume fasts food 3 to 5 times in a week 35% consume fast foods 1 to 2 times in a week, 20% never consume fast foods even once in a week, while a 5% consume fast foods more than five times in a week. The difference in these patterns is in individual student’s awareness and determination to eat the right foods for the proper functioning of the body. Some eat fast food due to limitation in time to find the right diets in fact, from the study, 59 % of the students eating fast food do so due to the need to save time.

There is another group, which constitutes 22% of the students eating fast food while in college; this group eats fast food because they do not know to cook. This means that every time they have to buy ready food instead foods that preparations and cooking. They end up eat a lot of junk food because they have to satisfy their hunger yet they are not able to make food.

Another reason why some college students eat fast foods is due to food prices. From the study, 19% of the students taking fast foods do so because they find it cheap to buy these ready foods than to cook their meals. Junk foods seem cheap to them but in the long run it may actually expensive to eat junk foods than to eat proper meals.

The general assumption and perception is that students in Australia do have a healthy diet.57% of the respondents believe that students in Australia do take in proper foods and healthy diets. On the contrary, the remaining 43% believe that students in Australia do not observe healthy diets.

A 55% of the respondents believe that student eat better diets in their homes in contrast to when they are in college. This could be because the students have enough time when at home and they do not have to buy or cook the food they consume; their parents or guardians do.45% of the respondents however believe that college students do not have better health diets in their home countries.

The largest proportion of the respondents believe that what they take in their diets affect their study and performance. This constitutes 75% while the remaining 25% do not believe that studies and performance is affected by eating habits.


It is evident that college students do know the right diet that should be taken but they do not always take it. There are times however that they make conscious efforts to eat right. Generally overseas student change their die t when they leave their homes.

If one maintains a balanced diet and adopts healthy feeding patterns and habits, one is likely to stay fit and healthy. Good health will mean better performance in all activities which means it is true that student performance can be affected by what they take in their diet.

Planning ahead is crucial in ensuring that one eats a healthy and balanced diet. This is because one of the reasons why people eat unhealthy foods is due lack of time. Peer pressure sometimes influences what the college students take in, for instance when it comes to alcoholics drinks; peer influence plays a major role.

Students seem very interested in knowing the right nutrition to take. This is evident from the number of students who took nutrition courses. However, there seemed to be difference between knowing what food and diet was healthy and proper and taking the diet. Students seem to take unhealthy foods and drinks even when they were aware of the potential health issues. The study recommended more sensitization on the effects of improper feeding and more focus be given to fast foods. The students need to know accurately the fat content in the fast foods. Knowing what amounts of all typed of foods is needed for proper and healthy function of the body is important. This is because it will help the overseas student to determine what amount of each food type to consume. According to Landow M.V (2006), College student have a lot of issues that they handle so they need all the energy to be mentally healthy.

There have been many diet campaigns on the need for proper nutrition, but the real thing is that much people are not actually taking the initiative to eat the right diet. College student are among the many people who know all about the importance of healthy eating and what constitutes healthy diet yet they still stray.

According to Willett & Skerrett (2002), Good healthy has to start with good nutrition and feeding practices.


Bauer Joy et al. (2005).Complete Idiot’s Guide to Total Nutrition, Fourth Edition, New

York: Alpha

Landow M.V (2006). Stress and mental health of college students, United States of

America: Nova Science Publishers

Willett Walter & Skerrett. (2002).Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical

School Guide to Healthy Eating, New York: Free Press