Fast food splurging has become an epidemic within community college student’s diets with no change in sight.
Studies show that 152 college students spend an average amount of $70-$100 a month on fast food, according to Scientific Research Publishing. Students who also live at home with no meal plan spend more money than those who live on campus and have a meal plan.
By budgeting, students are able to purchase food that is cheaper, affordable, and healthier. With grocery shopping at a local supermarket, meal prepping a proper diet is achievable.
However, students are often misguided when grocery shopping due to all the processed fatty foods on the shelf. Creating shopping lists, plays an important factor into budgeting when going to a grocery store.
Sarah Mathot, Santa Ana College’s Nutrition Department Faculty, stated that when shopping for groceries, include a variation of produce, protein, grains, and dairy in order to have a healthier diet. Each meal that is set up must have items from three different food groups.
College students often have the problem of not having enough time to be able to cook at home or who believe they have no cooking ability.
“The problem is no longer the price or the nutrients that are in these fast food meals, but the convenience of the meal,” said Mahot. “Everyone has specific things they like, and they know that unlike cooking at home, that fast food taste the same every time”
In some cases, college students are so dependent on their parents, they don’t have the skills to make healthy foods so they end up spending money on greasy food when nothing is prepared at home.
“Most of the time, I get free meals from work, but when I don’t, I just eat whatever.” said SAC Freshman Teddy Trejo.
Some healthy snacks that relieve hunger better than fast food include edamame, celery with peanut butter, apples, and almonds. These all offer complete sources of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins that allow your body to function properly and give you the energy to get through your day.