US College Students Have Wildly Different Approaches to Eating Healthy and Maintaining Mental Focus than the Rest of the World
New global research conducted on behalf of global student housing operator Yugo, uncovers students' outlooks on a variety of mental and physical health related topics, including:
- More than 25% of US students believe more calories, salt and saturated fats make for a healthier meal
- Female students are more likely to go to bed early and eat junk food to prep for finals
Denver, May 23, 2022 - Recent research has revealed a clear imbalance between college students’ perceptions of a healthy lifestyle versus the reality - particularly when it comes to preparing for finals.
The research was conducted on behalf of Yugo, the first global student housing operator created to enhance students’ experiences throughout and beyond university life. The research included a variety of health-related topics and gathered the opinions of more than 6,000 students across six countries.
Key findings of the survey include:
- US students are the worst at cooking at home - The study found less than 25% of US students cook seven or more healthy meals a week, compared to 29% in the rest of the world. Time (63%), money (57%) and the convenience of takeaways (31%) were cited as some of the biggest barriers to cooking. Female college students (33%) are more likely to eat a healthy breakfast than male college students, although on average women college students are (33%) less likely to cook while at school.
US students are more likely to grab a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit (47.2%) than fast food (30.6%) when they are stressed and short of time. Women students (31%) are more than twice as likely than men (14%) to grab a Snickers bar or a bag of Doritos.
- Confusion about what makes a healthy meal – A large percentage of US students compared to the rest of the world believe that higher the number of calories (33%), salt (26%), and saturated fats (25%), the healthier the meal. Students with the least confusion were in Australia (29%) and Spain (25%).
- Opinions on how to keep the brain sharp for finals varies significantly – U.S. students agree exercise (50%), more sleep (42%) and less fast food (31%) are key factors in mental preparation. Women are more likely to go to bed early than men (39%) while men are more likely than women to play computer games to aid in enhancing their mental focus for exams (45%). Surprisingly, 9.5% of US students will drink more alcohol to calm their nerves. Additionally, 23% of respondents believe that sex will help with studying and focusing their mind, but 10% take the total opposite view and will abstain from sex during finals.
Yugo is focused on improving the quality of life for students through its Live Your Best Life program, ensuring students are supported throughout their university experience, to the transition to working life and beyond. Through this initiative, students have access to a number of support networks and group sessions to improve their holistic living.
Abby Bentley, Global Brand and Marketing Director said:
“At Yugo, our core pillars were developed by students, for students. Supporting the holistic needs of our students is our top priority and we are constantly striving to improve the ways in which we operate. This research helps us to understand those specific areas, be it through extra-curricular educational courses, training sessions, or even peer support groups. Our unique pillars of YugoEco, YuPro and YuGrow are constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of today’s students, ensuring we are always there to support them.”
Yugo’s unique approach
At Yugo, students are empowered to grow personally through collaborative events and projects under the Live Your Best Life program - a holistic living experience developed from the Yugo research of thousands of students worldwide. This program supports students through three pillars based on sustainability - YugoEco, education – YuPro, personal development - YuGrow, to deliver on their needs and expectations.
- YugoEco sees Yugo coming together with students to create better living spaces and a better planet through several initiatives. These include low energy usage programs, a collaboration with the Carbon Literacy Project on the importance of living more sustainable lives for students, and global partnerships with like-minded businesses for events, education and student experiences.
- YuPro is all about empowering young people beyond higher education and helping to prepare them for their careers. To show commitment to YuPro, Yugo is launching its own student council, ‘The Yugo Movement’, where students will be given one mission - to eliminate single use plastic in our spaces. Yugo is also offering training sessions in areas such as career advice, real life experience, coaching and empowerment.
- YuGrow encourages Yugo students to shine by supporting their personal journey through events and activities in Yugo spaces, including student podcasts, diversity events and global student networking opportunities. Yugo also pledges to provide students with the best and most sustainably sourced chairs and beds – these were key findings from Yugo’s ongoing research, as being critical to their lives to support both their physical environment and their emotional needs.