The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
Jeremy Leclair, a third-year student in the Broadcasting Radio, Television and Film program, selects a hot slice of pizza from the school cafeteria Oct. 7. Photo by Jordan Nunziato
By JORDAN NUNZIATO Staff Writer Most often the student body will choose grease over green. Given Niagara College’s balanced selection of cafeteria food, students prefer less nutritious items, an unscientific survey shows. Police Foundations student Jason Deitz, 20, says, “When you’re feeling stressed, you feel the need to indulge in comfort food. Eating things like pizza and chips give me immediate comfort as opposed to salad, which I enjoy, but doesn’t satisfy me immediately.” This psychological anomaly is prevalent in many of Niagara College’s students. As the term becomes more stressful, students seek comfort over health. Third-year Brock University nursing student Kristy Jacobs, 21, looks into the issue. “It’s about ‘flight or fight,’ which is how your body reacts to stress. You can choose to fight temptation and deal with it, or run away. Usually people under stress turn to comfort food as the temptation and not fight.” For some, it’s about time restraints. “It’s just easy to run in and grab a quick slice of pizza and go,” says Police Foundations student Joe Sonenberg, 26. Is it not as easy to grab a sub or soup? Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film student Jeremy Leclair, 22, says, “I want to be able to eat better, but it’s become a habit to grab a Pepsi and chips. It’s quick and I know what I’m getting.” He adds, “Subs and soup are unknown to me. They’re pre-packaged items that could or could not be good. I like to stick with what I know.” This seems to be the consensus of many of the college’s students. Police Foundations student Chad Cote, 22, has a different view. “The cafeteria provides a lot of different choices whether it’s quick greasy meals or wholesome sandwiches or soups. I like the healthy choices the cafeteria has to offer. “Cafeteria food has always been somewhat expensive, but if you’re going to be spending a lot, why not spend it on something good for you?” Jacobs agrees stress is a major factor driving youth to make poor food choices. “If cafeterias offered only healthy options that would inspire youth to want to eat better, the overall student population would be in better shape.”