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3rd October 2013

Average student gains two stone in first year

The weight gain has been linked to study stress, unhealthy eating and binge drinking

A quarter of students put on up to two stone in freshers year, whilst nearly two-thirds have gained between 1 and 5 stone by the end of their degree, according to a new study.

Overall, 80 per cent of students asked gained weight during their university career.

Unhealthy eating and too much drinking was a leading factor of the weight gain, although 59 per cent of students blamed study stress.

Two thirds of students described their eating habits at university as either ‘very unhealthy’ or ‘quite unhealthy’.

Over half of those asked said that takeaways after a night out was a cause of weight gain, and the same number admitted to eating takeaways or fast food three to five times a week.

A third of students confessed to eating fruit and vegetables only once a week or less.

A lack of knowledge and culinary skill was also shown amongst the students asked, as one third said they were unable to cook spaghetti bolognaise from scratch and 15% would struggle with scrambled eggs on toast, whilst 5% admitted that they could not even prepare cheese on toast.

The biggest influences on food choices were shown to be cost, ease and speed of cooking, with only 10% of students saying they considered their health when deciding on a meal.

However, an increase in drinking once you reach university also appeared to play a large part in weight gain.

Over half of students asked said they drank at least three times a week, with 3% drinking every night.

The study was conducted by Slimming World on 1055 former students, who are now Slimming World members.

Of the students surveyed, 95% said that students need more help to learn how to eat healthily on a budget, and 94% thought more healthy food should be available at universities.

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