March 13, 2019
Filed under News
By Hanna Decker
Based on a 2015 study by Food Distribution Research Society, more than 70 percent of college students eat fast food at least once a day.
Deming Yaun, the university dining contract liaison, said the amount of Fordham students who eat fast food on a daily basis is lower than the national statistic.
“Maybe half of the students here at Fordham follow that same trend,” he said.
Yaun said that although this is less than what is seen across the country, there is still a large number of students that display this habit. Many colleges throughout the nation have chosen to install various fast food franchises on campus due to student interest.
Yaun said that if there were to be a fast food option on campus, it would be extremely popular among students.
“If a Chick-fil-A, or something similar, was on campus it would instantly be the most popular food option,” he said.
According to Yaun, there are various reasons that this trend takes place, the foremost being convenience: when students head off to college they are greeted with a new level of independence that requires them to make many of their own decisions.
“Students should have an idea of what they should eat based on their eighteen years with parents and education,” he said.
According to off-campus student Anna Peterson, FCRH ’21, students often choose where to eat as a matter of convenience.
“Time is often the biggest factor in my food choices,” she said. “Students have increasingly hectic schedules and will choose the food option that is most convenient to them, whether it is healthy or not.”
According to Blake Elwood, GSB ’19, students do want healthier options. She said that although fast food may be the most convenient at times, students would easily opt for healthier food if it was made accessible to them.
“I would definitely prefer a healthier option,” Elwood said. “I would love somewhere other than the Grille or Cosi to get a salad or healthier wrap.”
Yaun said that a few years ago, the university was given the option to have a Chick-fil-A installed in the cafeteria at Lincoln Center. However, the brand did not have many non-meat options, so he chose a fresh food service that had both vegan and vegetarian options.
“There is a definite trend towards vegan and vegetarian options as they are becoming more mainstream.” Students want to eat healthier but are not often given the opportunity.
Elwood stated that it is harder for her to maintain healthy eating habits at school.
“I try to eat healthier at school but it’s hard without time to make food myself,” she said. “At home I typically eat healthier.”
She said that if there were more healthy options around campus it would be much easier to maintain this healthy lifestyle.
Yuan said that he is open to the possibility of a fast-food option on campus.
“If given the opportunity to have a Chick-fil-A on campus along with a healthy food option, I definitely would not hesitate to get one established,” he said.
Fordham Dining relies on revenue brought in by students dining on campus. Yuan said brands like Chick-fil-A have proven to be very profitable on college campuses and are an almost-guaranteed source of revenue.
Yuan said that if healthier options are what students really want, then they have to make it known so actions can be taken to make those dreams a reality.
“Fordham Dining takes student opinions very seriously and many of the changes that have taken place over the years have been a result of input from students,” he said.