Jody from Yunggorendi sent this through to me. It is a brief (16 minute) documentary developed by the Health and Wellbeing Crew at Swinburne University that addresses the food challenges faced by many university students. It is called ‘My Plate is Full‘.
The documentary interweaves the stories of 4 students who talk about their dietary habits and the challenges they face getting their nutritional needs met. I sat down and watched it yesterday.
I think the documentary is useful in highlighting the many and varied barriers facing students when it comes to good nutrition. These include:
- low self-esteem or self-respect leading to punishment of the body through poor diet
- the negative effects of excessive drinking, partying, and gaming on diet quality
- the prohibitive costs of eating healthy
- the stigma associated with using Foodbanks to access cheap food
- the poor eating habits of other people in the family
- the time to prepare food when having to travel long distances to study
- the availability of convenient but low quality food at universities
- sleep irregularities leading to unusual eating habits
- mental health issues (e.g. anxiety, insomnia) getting in the way of preparing food
- what to buy when just preparing food for one person
- never being taught about healthy food and how to prepare it
- misinformation on the internet about what constitutes a good diet.
Even so, the documentary doesn’t veer heavily into hopelessness territory. Each student has their own ways of confronting and addressing these challenges.
Some are as simple as meal preparation or cooking more regularly. Others involve a shift in attitude like realising frugality is a pathway to something better (e.g. providing a better future for kids) or acknowledging just how important nutrition is to the functioning of body and mind.
Accompanying the video are a range of supplementary resources including recipes and articles on Foodbanks, the cheapest healthiest fast food, places to get a great deal (markets), and the links between food and sleep.
If nutrition is one of the things you feel is standing between you and being a better student, consider taking a look at My Plate is Full.
From the site
“A vegetarian who smokes. An athlete with insomnia. A gym-loving gamer who wants to take it all on. A single mum who obstinately battles the odds. Are they able to give themselves what they need to keep on keeping on? What’s driving them forward? And do they recognise how quietly superhuman they each are?”
For Flinders Students
Flinders Students need to be aware that we have the Flinders Market, where they can access free and low cost food. Students can also access other food hubs in Adelaide like the one in the city and one in O’Halloran’s Hill.