When Late-Night Hunger Strikes, Healthy Choices Aren’t Available

It’s midnight in Tallahassee, and the college student has just left the library after a night of heavy studying.

He is hungry from hours spent in the library and is craving something satisfying.

The campus café — and anything that is the least nutritional–  is closed. So, he settles for a greasy, $5 medium pizza because it is cheap and available at this time of night.

Popular food chains such as Hungry Howie’s, Chubby’s Chicken, Wendy’s and McDonalds are some of the few late night restaurants students could count on for a meal unless they make them something to eat themselves. Although these restaurants are accommodating because of their hours of operation, they can be detrimental to students’ health.

“Chubby’s is a good spot. It’s not exactly different from any other chicken place in Tallahassee, but you get a lot of food and they offer late night specials,” said fourth-year student Aaron Waters. Chubby’s Chicken has a variety of items on its menu, but its most popular entrée is its namesake chicken. Many students take advantage of the $7 special that includes any chop box or chicken box.

However this type of eating habits can be dangerous to the students’ health. Clinical nutritionist Dr. Freddy Kaye gave a couple of tips for college students to maintain their health after hours.

“The big factor is to plan your meals. Bring a breakfast bar or pack a sandwich and eat before you get hungry,” he said. “If you don’t eat before hunger strikes, your blood sugar drops and your emotions will take over. You will end up eating what you feel like eating”.

Hypoglycemia, which is the medical term for low blood sugar, causes weakness, nausea, and anxiety. Dr. Kaye suggested for students to switch out fatty foods at fast food restaurants for lower calorie foods if they absolutely have to eat out.

“Instead of getting fried chicken that is 450 calories and 17 grams of fat, order grilled chicken which is only 320 calories and three and a half grams of fat. Or dress your sandwich with mustard only instead of mayonnaise,” he said. “You will have flavor over fat. When eating late you have to put taste over volume.”

Florida State Student Tamara Campbell said, “My boyfriend loves Chubby’s loaded fries. I think it’s a complete heart attack. Instead, I feel a lot better eating the more healthier items they offer this late”.

The restaurant offers healthier alternatives to fried chicken and fries such as Cuban chop boxes, grilled chicken and salads.

Dr. Kaye said, “When you get hungry, think. Think what do want and say to yourself not to be over weight and make a smart choice”.