Corvallis, OR—Many college students let healthy diets slide during the school year, but their diets might be worse than many have imagined. And, there may be some significant differences by gender.

In studying the topic, Oregon State University researchers found that college students are eating less than one serving of fruits and vegetables daily. Though they should be eating five servings per day, male students are only earing that amount in one week. Females did slightly worse (with four servings per week), and had lower fiber intake than the men. Women did, however, skipped fewer meals and read food labels more closely. Males had more fat in their diets, but both genders at 30% of their daily calories from fat.

The researchers suggest that the problem is that students don’t learn enough about proper nutrition during their pre-college years.

Results of the study, which was based on 582 students, are published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2011 (online 8/19/11)