Addressing nutritional issues in the college-aged client: Strategies for the nurse practitioner

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Purpose:To educate nurse practitioners (NPs) on the nutritional risks specific to the college-aged client and provide recommendations for interventions for this group.Data sources:Information was gathered through a literature search as well as the author’s own experience.Conclusions:As young adults move into an independent living situation, there is a high risk for unhealthy eating habits. While this may not translate into the weight gain known as the “Freshman 15,” this is the time period when young adults begin to cement their eating habits. Current research has found that students who gain weight during this period tend to continue a slow, steady gain in weight.Implications for practice:NPs must take every opportunity to provide guidance toward healthy eating habits. Most clients of this age group are seen infrequently by a primary care practitioner. Thus, each visit should be used to explore the topic with clients to minimize adverse outcomes in the future.

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