Healthy eating tips for college students on the go



The countdown begins. With less than an hour on the clock, sweat rolls off the brow of Sierra Taliaferro as she races with fellow classmates to complete the Recycle Mania challenge on the campus of Bethune- Cookman University (B-CU).

140320_dt_health01The challenge was a nationwide competition for college campuses to become more aware about recycling materials. This Wisconsin native is a B-CU senior who balances academics while maintaining a social life on campus.

With no time to fix breakfast, Taliaferro tries to remain on track by grabbing an orange as a source for nutrition and vitamin C just before entering her class. For the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. member, this is a healthy snack that provides her energy when breakfast is skipped.

“I eat fruits, veggies and drink a lot of water,” said Taliaferro. “I also enjoy a nice jog around campus on a nice sunny day to get that dose of physical activity in for a healthy lifestyle.”

Eating right in college
According to, National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually every March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to influence people to eat healthier and make smarter physical habits.

“Eating right in college is important because good nutrition practices are necessary to maintain classroom concentration levels, manage weight gain, and sustain the level of energy needed to make it through any given day,” says Tonia Marchena, a nutritionist with the Department of Health of Volusia County.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cafeterias, all-you-can-eat dining facilities, vending machines, and easy access to food 24 hours a day make it tempting to overeat or choose foods loaded with calories, saturated fat, sugar, and salt.

‘You are what you chew’
On the other hand, stress and other reasons play a role in people not eating right. If concerned about weight, talk to a health care provider about diet, physical activity, and other health habits. About 65 percent of adults in Florida are at an unhealthy weight.

Shawn Noseworthy, a nutritionist with Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center states it plainly: “You are what you chew!”

Instead of eating foods that are high in fat, calories or salt, taste buds can be intensified with eating right. Instead of frying foods, try grilling, baking or broiling poultry and fish.

Zavia Ferguson is a senior majoring in mass communications at Bethune-Cookman University. She is an intern with Volusia County’s Health Department.

Tips for students

  • Know what you are eating
  • Eat healthy foods to refuel your body, including granola bars, dried or canned fruit
  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Don’t fight stress by eating
  • Limit sugar and caffeinated beverages



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