Perceived Stress, Perceived Social Support, Depression and Food Consumption Frequency in College Students
People in the United States are gaining weight at a rate higher than in the past. Because the eating habits people develop in college are similar to the eating habits people will have for the rest of their lives it is imperative that researchers understand more about why people gain weight in college. The purpose of the proposed survey-based study was to explore the relationship between perceived stress, perceived social support, and depression as it connects to weight changes and food choices in college students who are nonnal and abnonnal eaters. We hypothesized that those who are stressed, depressed, and lacking in social support would eat differently and have higher body mass indexes than people who do not suffer from these symptoms. Results from this study indicated that there was a relationship between perceived stress, perceived social support, and depression and this was correlated with restrained eating patterns. There was also a positive correlation found between perceived stress and soda consumption. A correlation was not shown between abnonnal eating patterns and overall weight. Implications from this study are that college food service providers should provide healthy, easy to eat food.