A study has revealed that students at Plymouth university are probably the most unhealthy in the country.
Sellhousefast wanted to look into the “fast food epidemic” which they say is “ravaging UK universities”. Researchers looked into 25 UK universities to find out how many fast food outlets were within a one mile radius of their campuses. Plymouth came out on top of the list with a whopping 33 fast food restaurants nearby.
The universities of Leeds and Edinburgh were close behind with 31, whereas Derby, Birmingham and Durham were the healthiest with only 6 outlets each.
The survey also took into account independent shops selling kebabs or fish and chips. Burgers, kebabs, pizza and chips were the students’ most popular choices to replace home cooked meals.
Sellhousefast interviewed Plymouth student David to see what he thought. He said that “at home my mum cooked and shopped for me, so I was really dependent on her.” So when he went to university he really struggled to cope in the kitchen because “I can barely cook and have no idea what I am doing.”
He admits that “most days I end up eating cheap fast-food” because there’s so many fast-food restaurants available to him on campus, and eating there is a lot cheaper, easier and less daunting than trying to cook for the first time.
Alex from The University of Leeds also said that “the sheer amount of fast-food available on my doorstep makes it hard to resist, especially as it’s so cheap.” Academic research has already proven that students are much more likely to go for fast food if the shops are in the centre of campus or if they pass them on their way to their accommodation.
These results reveal something interesting about the way brands and chains target students.
A different survey into the unhealthiest cities in the country in general found totally different results. SBO.net found that out of the 31 towns in the UK with the biggest populations, Dudley was the most unhealthy. Plymouth was actually one of the healthiest cities in the list, with a high number of gyms, swimming pools and cycle paths.
Fast-food brands clearly set up shop on campuses because students are such prime targets to fast, cheap food. Juggling lectures, seminars, societies and a social life is hard enough without having to go shopping and cook fresh meals on top of it all.
While there are ways of prepping ahead of time and recipes for one-pot dishes which make cooking as easy as possible, it’s easy to understand why students from these unis are becoming so unhealthy when there’s a McDonalds, a chip shop and a Subway on our doorstep.