Packets of instant noodles, long a staple of the college-kid diet,  can lead to illness if not balanced out with healthy fruits and  vegetables.

College students may be putting their health on a back burner by filling up on instant noodles and baked beans.

By consuming energy-dense foods and instant meals, students are increasing their risk of getting chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, according to a new study in Australia.

“There seems to be an acceptance out there that getting by on less nutritious food is a typical part of being a university student,” said Dr. Danielle Gallegos, who along with Kai Wen Ong surveyed more than 800 university students in Brisbane, Australia. “But a diet of baked beans and instant noodles is not good enough when health and academic results are at stake.”

A quarter of the students who participated in the research reported experiencing “food insecurity” in the year prior to the survey, and some 6% said they were repeatedly hungry.

Gallegos, who presented her findings at a national conference of dietitians in Melbourne, Australia this week, said vulnerable groups such as low income people who can’t afford to buy healthy foods tend to be either underweight or overweight.

Count college kids among these vulnerable people.

“Two thirds of the food-insecure students in our study ate less than two servings of fruit per week and 4% had no fruit at all,” Gallegos said.


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