Health Tips
Home From College? Time to Fix Bad Health Habits
Jun 23, 2017 - 11:30:45 AM

( - For college students, summer can be the time for a new lesson: how to take charge of their health.

In college, students often begin to make poor nutrition choices – compounded by the smorgasbord of junk food readily available in dorms and on campus. The result can be not only the “freshman 15” but a set of poor nutrition and exercise habits that become, by default, a lifestyle.

Summer, says Miranda Westfall, program manager and clinic dietitian at the UCLA Fit for Healthy Weight Program, is the perfect opportunity for students to begin focusing on nutrition, cooking, and physical activity. After all, they’ll face these challenges – on a more permanent basis – after graduation.

Westfall suggests college students get a handle on difficult areas now -- and begin making manageable changes.

Tackling the underlying weight issues

Students who’ve gained extra weight should identify what may have contributed to the problem, Westfall says. They should ask themselves:

Once students have identified a problem area, they should start by making changes – but not drastic ones.

"We have a tendency to go overboard and want to change everything at once," said Westfall. "This is a recipe for failure."

Westfall suggests:

Small changes such as these, she notes, will be sustainable and lead to big progress.

Making nutritional changes

Students who simply make poor nutrition choices should take more responsibility for the basics, Westfall says.

These easy steps can have a big impact:


© Copyright by