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Moms and dads who are concerned that their college-age kids aren't getting proper nutrition on campus are right to be worried; a new study conducted at Oregon State University suggests that many college students are consuming well below the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables.
While female students were shown to have slightly better habits than their male counterparts, neither gender revealed a particularly good eating behavior.
On average, the men and boys who were studied ate about five servings of produce per week, compared to girls and women who consumed about four servings of fruits and vegetables. However, the females had less fat intake, read nutrition labels and avoided skipping meals more frequently than male students.
"We found that students skipped meals fairly frequently, which could account for some of the lack of fruits and veggies," said co-author Brad Cardinal. "Still, even accounting for fewer meals consumed, the students were on average not always eating even one serving of fruits or vegetables per day, far below the USDA guidelines."
Results of this study may provide a reason behind the "Freshman 15" weight gain. Additionally, the findings underscore the importance of natural nutritional supplements for college kids who may not have consistent access to fresh food.