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September 10, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Student Health: The Heavier Side of Drinking

ALEXANDRA HOWATSON, STUDENT DIETITIAN

There’s a tendency for students to gain weight during their time at university. This is affectionately known as ‘the Fresher five’
in first year, and usually continues on into second, third and fourth year. It’s common, it’s a little bit funny and it coincides with the massive increase in socialising and decrease in parental and age restriction that occurs at this time of life. Some people never lose their fresher five, or however much it was. The biggest cause is the hundreds of thousands of extra kilojoules ingested through binge drinking (and like it or not, we are definitely binge drinkers) over the time spent at uni. It’s what and how we’re drinking!

The average NZ adult requires 8700 kilojoules (kJ) per day (kJ is a measure of energy, which is found in food and drink).
If you’re a girl and you’re small, you’ll need less than this. If you’re a boy and you’re tall you’ll need more than this. If you exercise lots you might need more than this. Any extra energy consumed is stored as fat. To put this in perspective—if you eat a Big Mac Hunger

Buster you’ve eaten 6230 kJ, three quarters of what you need for the whole day. The point being it’s very easy to eat more than we need. And then, on top of probably already eating everything needed for the day, we drink.

Drinking two boxes of beer per week while eating a normal diet will incur a weight gain of 21kg over the year! Similarly two bottles of wine per week will incur weight gain of 9kg. Some of this can be counteracted by exercise, but to avoid weight gain, the beer drinkers would have to exercise intensely for 6 hours per week and the wine drinkers for nearly 3 hours. And that doesn’t even take into account the extra snacks that come out when drinking, and the stop at BK, J&M’s or Noodle Canteen on the way home from town…

Tips for drinking with less of the chubby consequences:

Firstly, drink less! Find something to do with your mates on casual evenings that doesn’t involve three dozen drinks.

Note as above, that if you are drinking, wine, cider and spirits with diet mixers are about half the kilojoules of other options.

Drink water or diet drinks alongside your alcoholic beverage. You’ll drink slower, and avoid the dehydration headache in the morning.

Learn to say no and don’t try and keep up with your friends. When they’ve put on weight and you haven’t, you’ll know why.

Now you have the information, the responsibility is yours to make the right choices when it comes to drinking. And just remember that beer bellies, rolls and love handles are never sexy.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

Comments (1)

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  1. Christian says:

    Hey just wondering if these articles could have the authors names listed with them? Or is that against some sort of rules?
    Thanks :)

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