According to a study conducted by Seoul Youth Honorary vice Mayor Team, 40 percent of students eat instant noodles at convenience store one to three times a week, and more than half of students who live apart from family eat convenience food frequently. Low price is the most frequently given reason (46.9%) why so many young people want to eat at convenience stores. A survey by the Catholic University Forum (CUF) shows the Catholic University of Korea (CUK) students also eat convenience food frequently. Is there any health problem if they eat convenience food continuously?
The Catholic University Forum (CUF) conducted a survey about dormitory eating habit on 59 CUK students from July 10 to 17. The first question is whether you think your eating habit is proper. According to a survey, 84.7% of students answered that they are not and only 11.9% of students answered that they have proper eating habits. Also, CUF surveyed what they usually eat with multiple responses to the students who answered that they do not have proper eating habits. The survey showed that most common food for students is cup noodles (33.9 %). The second most given answer by students was fast food. (32.2 %). Next, fast bread and delivery food occupied the next highest percentages at 27.1% each, followed by School cafeteria at 23.7 %; the percentage of box lunch was 20.3%, cereal was 10.2 % and last home food was 8.5%. In addition, 52.2% of students responded that they eat two meals a day and only 20.3 percent of students eat three meals a day.
Furthermore, 42.4% of those who said “no” responded that they are too short of money to eat a proper meal and 39 % of students feel hassle to eat meal. It is true that eating relatively healthy food is expensive. The average price of Korean food around CUK is more than 4,000 won and school cafeteria is 3,8oo won, depending on the menu. On the other hand, the price of cup noodles is about 1,000 won. Also, eating cup noodles takes approximately 5 minutes, but restaurants require at least 30 minutes. There were 22% and 10.2% of the respondents who selected the other reason; each of them short of time to go out to eat and prefer convenience food. Actually, there was an opinion that school cafeteria food is of low quality and they get tired of going out to have a meal. Some student said it is hard to make it to the cafeteria during the semester due to irregular living habits.
<Some CUK students gave tips for CUK students who have bad eating habits at the dormitory.>
1. Freeze the rice by putting it in a paper cup. (By Lee Yu-jin, English Language Literature, 19)
As her grandmother lives near school, she goes there every week and brings rice and side dishes. Especially, she said cooked glutinous rice(찰밥) is very useful in the dormitory. If boiled rice is melting after frozen, taste and quality are degraded. However, cooked glutinous rice is almost preserved its original taste. So, she divides cooked glutinous rice into a paper cup and freeze in the freezer. Taking out before eating four to five hours, and it will defrost naturally. The storage method is like this. First, put cooked glutinous rice into a paper cup and seal it up using cooking foil or a plastic bag. Also, it matches well with a variety of other foods like chicken, noodles and stir-fried rice cakes, as well as home-cooked side dishes.
2. Divide the side dishes into a small bowl and store in refrigerator. (By Lim Hye-won, Dept. of Media Technology & Media Contents, 18)
She feels health is important as she had experienced her health deteriorating while she was preparing for the second university entrance exam. She was enjoying instant food at that time, but she decided to eat well and has practiced the plan even living in dormitory. She goes to her home every week and brings back some side dishes. As the dormitory refrigerator is small, she divides the food and puts it in little containers to preserve it.
3. Go to bed early and carefully select your school timetable. (By anonymous CUK student)
One anonymous CUK student said having a regular life schedule is important in eating habits. He tries to go to bed early and get up early to eat breakfast. He includes lunch time in his school timetable as often as he can. Also, he said exercising in daily life like using the stairs instead of the elevator can helps students enjoy the taste of rice by consuming energy without lots of time.
College students including CUK students know that instant food is unhealthy, but they cannot avoid it completely. Sometimes they have no lunch time due to successive classes or too many assignments and so on. The respondents said several tips for CUK students; eating home food, doing exercise, go to bed early and make lunch time in your school timetable. As listed above, you can find many things you can do to stay healthy that do not cost a lot of money. You can change your eating habits a little bit at a time. Small changes are easier to make and can lead better health.