Students and nutrition: From the main seminar to the food cravings

With the new winter semester, the time of the exams and oral exams starts again for around two million students. And that often means: pure stress. Almost unnoticed, eating habits are now changing as well. While some people feel the strain literally on their stomachs, and because of their lack of time and overwork, they barely eat anything, others have an insatiable appetite for certain, mostly unhealthy foods.

Eating against stress

"When I am in the stress of exams, I just need chocolate - it calms down!" Like Miriam K., many students are concerned. The DAK questioned Hamburg students about their eating habits during exam periods and found out that with stress eaters in addition to high-fat foods such as pizza and ready meals, especially sugary is very popular. Especially female students set the chocolate bar at the top of their examination menu: Around 60 percent of the women surveyed between the ages of 20 and 29 confessed to the tenderly melting sin. After all, it was just under a quarter of the male students.

Food as a reward

"Stress eating is not primarily about satisfying hunger, " explains psychologist Frank Meiners from the DAK. "Rather, stress-eaters want to reward themselves for something - for example, the rigors of learning." A behavior that can have long-term serious health consequences, because even if the small reward in between is no problem at first glance: "Once learned mechanisms It's hard to get rid of, "Meiners said, so you should take countermeasures as early as possible so that the vicious cycle of stress and reward from food does not even arise.

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