Entering college is a stressful transition for most adolescents. While some are able to cope well with these new stresses, others may develop maladaptive coping strategies such as disordered eating patterns. College students, particularly young women, are at risk of developing eating disorders during this time period (Jacobson, n.d.). Colleges typically introduce students to helpful resources on campus to combat the challenges of college life during freshmen orientation. Orientation leaders typically teach strategies regarding independent living, or teach strategies to help students resist peer pressure, or avoid substance abuse. During this orientation period, it would make sense for colleges to also include programs about healthy eating habits.
According to Smith and Hawks (2006), intuitive eating is a non-diet approach in which the decision to consume and stop consuming food relies upon one’s internal cues of hunger and fullness. Why intuitive eating? College students who practice intuitive eating strategies tend to have a lower BMI, fewer anxieties regarding food, and fewer disordered eating behavior patterns (Denny, Loth, Eisenberg, & Neumark-Sztainer, 2013; Smith & Hawks, 2006).
An online, psycho-educational training on intuitive eating would be beneficial for college students. After all, research shows that an intuitive eating text messaging intervention program among college students was more effective than an informational handout at increasing student intuitive eating habits and self-efficacy, and more effective at decreasing perceived stress levels (Loughran, 2017). College students were more engaged in the intuitive eating text messaging intervention because it was delivered on a platform that was easily accessible. Create your online intuitive eating training with CertCentral and instantly deliver it to students on desktop, mobile, and tablet. Get started with your training for college students at https://certcentral.com/sales/healthcare-lms/, and include the following tenets of intuitive eating.
Intuitive Eating Tips
Reject unhealthy diet cultures and body ideals displayed on social media.
- Include videos of body-positive influencers explaining the importance of healthy lifestyles in your training course.
Encourage use of the hunger-fullness scale.
- Integrate an image of the hunger-fullness scale in your training program for easy download. This way, students can easily access this resource on their mobile devices for reference.
- The hunger-fullness scale is a scale from 1-10 that describes the varying levels of hunger and fullness one may experience on any given day (The University of Texas at Tyler, n.d.). Extreme hunger reflects a rating of 1, while extreme fullness reflects a rating of 10. Stating that your hunger is at a level 1 means that you are dizzy, nauseous, shaky, and starving. Stating that your hunger is at a level 5 means that you are feeling neither hungry nor full. Finally, stating that your fullness is at a level 10, means that you are feeling sick from binge eating. Staying in between a range of 3 to 7 will help you mindfully eat and avoid extremes of hunger and fullness (The University of Texas at Tyler, n.d.).
Encourage mindful eating.
- Mindful eating involves being aware of the sight, smell, taste, and texture of the food being consumed (Rumsey, 2017). This practice allows individuals to get in touch with their bodies, and better understand their internal cues of hunger and fullness.