College students’ weighty choices bring obesity to forefront
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Control over their life choices is part of the college experience for students. But that authority is not without cost: Schedules are jammed and in flux; exercise, homework and friends all compete for time. Parents aren’t around to clean up, nag about homework and grades, or cook nutritious meals.
Faced with overwhelming choices, college students often end up gaining extra pounds. Moreover, at a time when obesity among Americans is a national epidemic, the college generation often is overlooked.
“People don’t look at this age cohort as closely,” said Dr. Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting communities’ health and preventing disease. “Since you certainly can find a lot of data showing that kids today under 18, under 19 are becoming more and more obese, they’re moving on to college – this is a trend that’s been going on for 20 years – and clearly admission to college doesn’t suddenly eliminate those rates of obesity.”
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