Staying Healthy in College
Below are a few health issues you may face while at college and some action steps you can take to help protect yourself.
Eating Disorders and Diet Changes
Your eating habits may change once you’re in college, and you may gain or lose weight. College cafeterias, buffets, and easy access to food 24 hours a day make it tempting to overeat or not make the healthiest food choices. On the other hand, you may not eat enough because of stress, lack of money, or other reasons.
Eating disorders are serious medical problems. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder are all types of eating disorders. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but can occur during childhood or later in adulthood. Females are more likely than males to develop an eating disorder. Eating disorders are more than just a problem with food.
- Determine if your eating habits could be improved. Visit a health clinic or talk to a nutritionist or dietitian about ways to improve your diet.
- If you or someone you know is showing signs of an eating disorder, get help. If you suspect a friend has an eating disorder, tell him or her about your concerns. Ask him or her to talk to a counselor or doctor who knows about eating issues, and offer to go along to the appointment. Let your friend know you are there for him or her.
- Talk to someone you can trust, such as a parent, doctor, counselor, religious leader, or teacher.
Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation
Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and depression. Students who are working or studying long hours often experience episodes of sleep deprivation. This can cause daytime sleepiness, sluggishness, and difficulty concentrating or making decisions. Teens and young adults who do not get enough sleep are at risk for problems, such as automobile crashes; poor grades and school performance; depressed moods; and problems with friends, fellow students, and adult relationships. Eating well, being physically active, and getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your well-being.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention content is free and public domain.
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