Students warned of junk food health risks
Sanelisiwe A. Mabaso
Durban University of Technology students are addicted to junk food, but they better beware: All those fizzy drinks and fried chips could be ruining their health.
A snap survey, completed by a total of 100 DUT students, found that as many as 60% of those polled eat junk food almost weekly. Of these, up to 50% consume junk food daily. Junk food was consumed mostly at lunch (65%); hamburgers, fizzy drinks and fried chips were the top food choices; 54% of students spent R20-R60 per meal. 70% believe that fast food meals cost more and of those students, 57% reported that they would pay more for healthier food options.
Rita Pentiah, a nurse practitioner at DUT City Campus said students should limit the amount of junk food and fast food they eat because unhealthy foods can lead to serious health issues in the future,
“Too much junk causes sugar diabetes and you can have cardiac problems, kidney problems, and numbness to extremities,” she said.
Some students take advantage of the variety of healthy foods offered like Kagiso Ndlovu, a second-year interior design student at DUT.
“I like to maintain good eating habits because healthy food gives me energy and focus, whereas junk food often leaves me feeling heavy and exhausted,” he said.
But, some students are not bothered by the consequences of unhealthy eating habits. DUT video technology student, Shaviq Dwain, said that junk food is part of ‘university life’.
“As students, we are always busy with assignments and projects. Junk food is part of university life because it is faster and convenient,” he said.