Just in time for millions of young people returning to college, a new study warns of the health risks of that fast, cheap campus food: ramen noodles.
A two-year survey of 11,000 South Koreans showed that eating two or more servings of sodium-laden ramen noodles a week can result in an increase in heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Next thing you know, they’ll be telling students that large quantities of pizza and beer aren’t good for them either.
The report should sensitize college students and their parents about maintaining a sensible diet away from home. Two years ago, an Auburn University study of 131 students tracked over four years concluded that 70 percent of them had gained weight by graduation.
The average gain was 12 pounds; the maximum was 37. So much for the “freshman 15” — college weight gain isn’t limited to freshmen. The Auburn study said the overall percentage of students who were overweight rose from 18 percent to 31 percent.
College students gain weight not just because they’re no longer eating from their parents’ refrigerator, but also because they keep irregular hours (for studying, of course), rely on quick snacks too often, are tempted by fatty cafeteria foods, and get insufficient exercise.
Let’s hope America’s collegians take this as food for thought: Weight watching is not just for freshmen, but for life.