Essay on Dieting Among Higher Education Students

Published: 2021/11/09
Number of words: 2339

Introduction to the Research Project

The research is focused on establishing the various dieting habits that are exhibited by students in higher institutions of learning, especially within the United Kingdom (De Backer, 2013). There is a need to state clear objectives for the study in a bid to ensure that important matters are accorded the required attention. Objectives for the study include examining the dietary trends among students, conducting a literature review on the topic of discussion, and apply an appropriate methodology to collect information on different feeding habits that are experienced by university and college students (De Backer, 2013). The research seeks to find out whether dieting has an impact on the health and learning outcomes for students in higher learning institutions.

Literature Search and Results

In the year 2011, LaCaille, Dauner, Krambeer, and Pedersen researched psychosocial and environmental determinants of eating behaviors and weight change among students in institutions of higher learning. The authors assert that eating habits are a complex matter that is normally predetermined by self-motivation and regulatory skills among students in such institutions (LaCaille, Dauner, Krambeer and Pedersen, 2011). The research asserts that there are notable gender differences that affect feeding habits among students in colleges and universities. Results from the study indicate that feeding habits are a matter that only an individual can determine, explaining why different health conditions are evident among students in higher education institutions. Information in the research is crucial in filling the missing gap of information on dieting trends among students in institutions of higher learning.

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The second study was conducted in the year 2014 by Deliens, Clarys, De Bourdeaudhuij, and Deforche. Their research is focused on the determinants of eating behavior among university students. The qualitative analysis study used focus group discussions as a way of establishing facts on the topic of interest (Deliens, Clarys, De Bourdeaudhuij and Deforche, 2014). The study asserts that after high school, students are faced with the challenge of deciding on diets that can help them lead a healthy lifestyle. Factors that influence the choice of diet among students include tastes and preferences. Equally, self-discipline, time convenience, and a social life that one leads affect his/her feeding habits in the long-run. According to the research, institutions of higher learning should direct more energy towards encouraging students to eat a healthy diet in a bid to improve their wellbeing.

In the year 2011, a group of researchers established the effect of education exposure on feeding habits among university students (Brandão, Pimentel and Cardoso, 2011). The study asserts that students in institutions of higher learning should be t the forefront of championing healthy feeding habits, for they know the effects of poor dieting. In the research, the authors note some habits that are common among the educated youth, including smoking, dyslipidemia, and overweight conditions. The study further explains that university and college students lead a sedentary lifestyle, which is the main reason behind such health conditions. Equally, students in institutions of higher learning were noted to have almost zero activity, a factor that affects their health condition (Brandão, Pimentel and Cardoso, 2011). The research is informative and useful in establishing underlying facts on the issue of dieting among students of higher education, especially in England.

Serlachius, Hamer, and Wardle in the year 2007 studied stress and weight change among university students in the United Kingdom. Most students in institutions of higher learning exhibit different weight changes and stress depending on the feeding habits that they adopt (Serlachius, Hamer and Wardle, 2007). The study compares the dieting among university and college students in the UK and the US. It is vital to note that the study mentions obesity and the possible effects it can cause on people. In essence, the authors of the research emphasize the importance of adopting appropriate feeding habits among students in institutions of higher learning (Serlachius, Hamer and Wardle, 2007). The study notes with concern that students sometimes neglect the right diet even though they are aware of the consequences associated with unhealthy feeding habits.

Tanton, Dodd, Woodfield, and Mabhala in the year 2015 researched the eating behaviors of British students in institutions of higher learning. The research is interesting as it notes that the topic of discussion is a neglected issue that needs more attention. The authors have emphasized practices that are notable among British students as far as dieting is concerned. An unhealthy diet makes the body vulnerable to non-communicable diseases (Tanton, Dodd, Woodfield and Mabhala, 2015). The study utilized a two-step cluster analysis to establish the reality behind the topic of discussion. The university environment and social life that one leads in the university affect feeding habits significantly. The article is detailed enough to aid in the formulation of a formidable conclusion.


The research employed a qualitative approach to establish various facts that revolve around dieting among higher education students in England. The qualitative approach encompasses a rigorous content analysis to establish important facts on the available information. Qualitative analysis is necessary and helps in identifying the characteristics of data that has been collected during the study (De Backer, 2013). As such, the approach proved a vital strategy in conducting research online. Content analysis is crucial as it enables a researcher to use n inclusion and exclusion criteria in determining relevant material. It helps determine the presence of some words online during research. In a bid to meet the expectation of the study, the researchers applied the approach to determine important articles used in concluding (De Backer, 2013). The internet was an important factor in the process of content analysis as it helped access a large database remotely. It was vital for the research to use the strategy as a way of accessing crucial information on dieting among university and college students in the United Kingdom.

Online search involved the use of key terms to identify relevant materials for the study. For instance, the term “dieting” was used to identifying articles and materials that capture the issues of dieting trends in the United Kingdom. Content analysis is a tool that enables one to narrow down their search for a clearer result. In essence, the approach made it easier for the study to identify essential materials that helped in arriving at the conclusions (De Backer, 2013). The inclusion criterion, in this case, was based on containing content with the keywords. Any other material that did not meet the inclusion criterion was excluded as it is unnecessary. An exclusion criterion that helped work is on articles that do not contain information on university and college students in the United Kingdom.

The methodology adopted proved to be an important strategy throughout the processes of researching and gathering information. The process was conducted in a flawless manner that guaranteed the collection of reliable information for the study. The content analysis captures both qualitative and quantitative analysis in the event of applying it in research (De Backer, 2013). Necessary ethical standards were followed in a bid to ensure that no rights were violated in the process. The whole process of researching was a success, and there is a need to direct more time to fill the wide gap of information on the topic of discussion.

Discussion on the Data

Data collected indicates that there is a proactive relationship between feeding habits and the health of students among university students in the United Kingdom. Most educated students have not emulated proper feeding habits that promote good health as anticipated. On the contrary, most students lead a life that risks their health in the long-run. Behavior such as smoking and drinking excessively has affected the health of many students in the United Kingdom (Brandão, Pimentel and Cardoso, 2011). Equally, a large number of those students who do not embrace proper feeding habits end up attracting conditions such as obesity and diabetes, which challenge their wellbeing in school. University and college students are expected to be the ones championing proper dieting because of the assumption that they are exposed academically. Unfortunately, even with knowledge, college students have failed to emulate appropriate feeding habits that can promote their health (Deliens, Clarys, De Bourdeaudhuij and Deforche, 2014). It is important to consider various factors that affect the feeding habit of students in institutions of higher learning.

Many factors affect one’s feeding habits, especially for students in various institutions of higher learning. The lifestyle that one leads can determine what type of food they eat and how often do they have it. The chart shown above indicates some factors that influence dieting habits among university and college students. Students who stay on-campus care less about the type of diet that they take most of the time (Deliens, Clarys, De Bourdeaudhuij and Deforche, 2014). The data collected is reliable because of the procedures applied in research on the topic of discussion.


Determinants of feeding habits among students in institutions of higher learning include social life, economic factors, and the environment within where one stays. As already noted, students who live on-campus are the most affected as others get lazy enough to get the right diet. Eating junk foods is also an evident factor, which has contributed significantly to the increased cases of obesity among students in universities and colleges. Conditions such as obesity arise due to one’s eating and social lifestyle (Brandão, Pimentel and Cardoso, 2011). For instance, if an individual eats more junk foods and fails to carry out physical exercises, he/she is likely to become obese. Most students do less physical activities but take in more fats and sugars that can lead to diabetes and cancer. Students who mind about their diet have better health and educational outcomes, as indicated by most studies conducted.

From the research, it is evident that dieting is a matter that is influenced by self-regulatory factors and motivation. When one is motivated to eat particular foods, they can easily take them upon exposure. Students in institutions of higher learning are most affected by improper feeding habits that affect their health status in the long-run. Academics impact one’s attitude towards the concept of diet and staying a healthy lifestyle. From the findings, one can conclude that most university students in the United Kingdom do not consider diet n important aspect in their lives (Deliens, Clarys, De Bourdeaudhuij and Deforche, 2014). The nature of social life that they lead makes it difficult to guarantee timely and balanced diets. Equally, it is important to always take into account what one eats as it affects the health status of an individual in the long-run.

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In real-world terms, findings from the study indicate that most people out here do not take into account their feeding habits. Institutions of higher learning must develop strategies that can promote proper feeding habits among students (De Backer, 2013). Some students in such institutions do not value their diet even when they are aware that it affects their health. There is a need to devise strategic measures that can lure most students into abandoning poor feeding habits that risk their lives at a later stage. There is a need also for researchers to do more on the topic of discussion and establish facts in a bid to fill the missing gap of information. Many researchers have done studies on feeding habits, but very few have narrowed to university students, especially in the United Kingdom (LaCaille, Dauner, Krambeer and Pedersen, 2011). More resources should be directed to the research for a clearer understanding of concepts on dieting and students in institutions of higher learning.


It is important to conduct a reflection and establish how useful the research process has been all through. The process of conducting the literature review was flawless and worked well. One interesting area with the study is the identification of various determinants of feeding habits. Such knowledge is useful to all students who desire to lead a healthy lifestyle on campus. In future, there is a need to dedicate more time to the research for a detailed and formative discussion (LaCaille, Dauner, Krambeer and Pedersen, 2011). More time will enable one to do more research and establish existing facts on the topic of interest. From the experience, I have learnt that it is important to adopt proper feeding habits, especially for students in institutions of higher education. Equally, the nature of life that one adopts can affect their health, especially when the consumption of unhealthy food characterizes it (Deliens, Clarys, De Bourdeaudhuij and Deforche, 2014). The process of research helped me reflect on important aspects that affect university and college students, especially on feeding habits and social life.


Brandão, M.P., Pimentel, F.L. and Cardoso, M.F., 2011. Impact of academic exposure on health status of university students. Revista de Saúde Pública45, pp.49-58.

De Backer, C.J., 2013. Family meal traditions. Comparing reported childhood food habits to current food habits among university students. Appetite69, pp.64-70.

Deliens, T., Clarys, P., De Bourdeaudhuij, I. and Deforche, B., 2014. Determinants of eating behaviour in university students: a qualitative study using focus group discussions. BMC public health14(1), pp.1-12.

LaCaille, L.J., Dauner, K.N., Krambeer, R.J. and Pedersen, J., 2011. Psychosocial and environmental determinants of eating behaviors, physical activity, and weight change among college students: a qualitative analysis. Journal of American College Health59(6), pp.531-538.

Serlachius, A., Hamer, M. and Wardle, J., 2007. Stress and weight change in university students in the United Kingdom. Physiology & Behavior92(4), pp.548-553.

Tanton, J., Dodd, L.J., Woodfield, L. and Mabhala, M., 2015. Eating behaviours of British university students: A cluster analysis on a neglected issue. Advances in preventive medicine2015.

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