Research on college student eating habits have shown that convenience and taste are the top priorities as opposed to nutrition. When college students have multiple obligations to balance, it becomes easy to put convenience over quality with the food they eat, which results in relying on dining halls or fast food.
So where do students go if they want to improve their nutrition?
The Student Wellness Center offers free nutritional coaching to full time enrolled Ohio State students and Wellness Coordinator of Nutrition Education Janele Bayless talked about what this coaching entails.
Bayless mentioned how this nutritional coaching is for any Ohio State student interested in getting their health and eating habits on the right track along with learning what is right for their body and mind.
“It is absolutely available for anyone who has the desire to come in,” Bayless said. “The majority of students really come in with establishing a healthy diet first and foremost, they really do care about their health and want to come in and ensure they’re getting the nutrition they need.”
Bayless explained how students begin their nutritional coaching journey when they first come in with a food analysis followed by learning about the specific foods they intake and a discussion of their personal goals.
“There’s really those three main parts: assessing their food intake, education and goal setting,” said Bayless. “Beyond that it’s an education around meals, snacks and ways to structure them. Beyond that it’s any variety of topics which among that could be mindful eating, portion control and fitness.”
This coaching has been accessible to Ohio State students since 2006.
“The number of times I’ve gotten to seen, hear and witness students who as a result of getting the nutrients that will best serve their bodies have things like more energy, better concentration, more stamina, it’s been a real treat (pun intended) to participate and see this in other students,” Bayless said.
Erin McNab and Mikaelie Gonzalez, Wellness Center nutrition coaches, said this type of coaching can be fundamental for college students in improving their daily lives.
McNab said the coaching is helpful for students because of how it helps to achieve their personal goals, but it also teaches students on how to clarify whether information in regards to health is valid.
“It’s also a great opportunity because when they aren’t good at controlling we can help them with improving their health or just in general helping them achieve their particular goals,” said
McNab. “There is a lot of information out there and not all of it is actually going to be helpful long term so we like to offer that support and some of that clarity around that information.”
Gonzalez said the coaching benefits students by making them more well rounded with their health by teaching them how to bring all different aspects of health together as one.
“I think a lot of students come in and they do have a grasp on what is healthy but maybe they are confused on how to put pieces together perfectly so what is great is that we help and empower the students,” Gonzalez said.
If you are interested in scheduling a nutrition appointment, sign up at go.osu.edu/nutritioncoaching.