Going off to college for the first time often means a weight gain for the typical freshman, but for students with a chronic disease such as diabetes, the factors that lead to the weight gain pose a special risk. As students struggle to adjust to the demands of academic work, increased fatigue is another common problem.
Carol DeNysschen, Ph.D., R.D., is an associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at SUNY Buffalo State. “Several factors contribute to the weight gain that freshmen experience,” she said. “Those factors pose a special risk for students who already struggle with diabetes or obesity, or who have cancer.”
Fatigue is also a significant problem for college students who are adjusting to the demands of college. “It is very important for college students to maintain their physical activity,” said DeNysschen. “It is very important that students maintain their physical activity; they should try for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise every day, with a physician’s approval.”
The benefits of exercise include stress relief and better sleep. “Exercise also helps people make better food choices,” she said.
“Alcohol has seven calories per gram, which is more than carbohydrates and protein,” said DeNysschen. “And alcohol provides zero nutrients.”