College students suffering from high obesity rates

College students in the U.S. may need to put down the pizza and pick up a salad.

The rising rate of obesity on college campuses is too big to ignore. Over the past few years, the rate of obesity has made a shift in the wrong direction.

A report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, found that in 2005, 3 out of 10 college students are either overweight or obese.

The report also found that, 9 out of 10 students eat fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and nearly 6 of 10 students participate fewer than three days per week in vigorous-intensity or moderate-intensity physical activity.

According to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in 1991, no state in the U.S. had an obesity rate of 20 percent or more. The report also states that as of 2013, no state in the U.S. has an obesity rate of 25 percent or less.

For many students, the No. 1 excuse is simply not having enough time to exercise, or not being able to afford a healthier diet.

A huge factor in weight gain, especially in college, is a result of the excessive consumption of alcohol and the lack of sleep, according to Pablo Abdala, a personal fitness trainer from Kingston, Jamaica.

Many college students condone these practices and label these habits as normal.

These bad lifestyle choices not only paint a gloomy picture for the body’s outer appearance, but it causes internal harm as well. According to, poor lifestyle choices contribute to obesity related disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis.

Graduating business student, Koscha McIntosh, from West Palm Beach, Fla., said her No. 1 reason for not working out consistently is the lack of a gym membership.

“I don’t have a gym membership and don’t want to come out of pocket on a monthly basis for one,” McIntosh said. “As a college student, my goal is to save as much as possible and unhealthy food choices just happen to be less expensive.”

McIntosh’s case supports the theory of why students opt for unhealthier lifestyles; because, it is more convenient and less costly.

Jamal Sims, a third-year biology student from Bowie, Md., said he wasn’t raised to make healthy eating decisions, because he was involved in sports.

“I was never raised to have the healthiest eating habits so it was never really as important to me, especially because I played sports my entire life,” Sims said. “As I got older and became less involved in sports, due to the tearing of my ACL, I have tried to adapt a more healthier diet because I fell short in that area.”

Daniel Higgins, a fourth-year psychology student from Tampa, said she allows herself a few cheat days, but always make it a point to stay in the gym.

“I always keep my health in mind,” Higgins said. “Even though I may cheat on a few meals or skip the gym a few times per week, I always find the time to visit the gym and stay as active as possible. I was raised…to always remain active, so having those thoughts instilled in me at such a young age, has only allowed the easy transition into my adult life.”