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Eating at ASU: how students get by on- and off-campus

A look into the diets of students with limited time and money

Zachary Walker

Zachary Walker, Computer Information Systems freshman, grabs french fries at the Hassyampa dining hall on Wednesday Feb. 22, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona.

Eating at ASU: how students get by on and off-campus from The State Press on Vimeo.

When attempting to find a balance between school, work and other life commitments as a student, eating often falls by the wayside. Students who live off campus often struggle to control their spending on food, with one in five students indicating they spent too much on eating out, according to a State Press survey. The survey was conducted online with 120 ASU students. Those who live on campus, faced with the array of healthy and unhealthy options in dining halls, can find difficulty in keeping a healthy diet. The survey, which polled students on their eating habits, found:

  • When students eat out, a plurality (42.5 percent) prefer fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle, Qdoba or Smashburger. About 31 prefer fast food, while only 14.2 percent prefer to go to a traditional restaurant.
  • Asked what they most often cook, 31 percent of students indicated they cook chicken more often than anything else. 19.5 percent of students cook pasta most frequently, while the stereotypical college meal ramen was the most frequent meal for only 9.2 percent of students. About 73 percent of students indicated that they cook for at least some of their monthly meals.
  • On average, ASU students spend $234.43 on food monthly. The average monthly spending on groceries is $116.77, and the average spent on eating out is $97.20. Students reported spending an average of $23.29 on alcohol, though this includes the roughly half of respondents that reported they spend no money on alcohol.

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