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Consumption of raw and unprocessed foods among Indiana state university students: A bench report

Author(s): Florence O.Uruakpa, Erin Hurst, Angela Siela, Theresa Gwinnett, Amanda Hestness, Lauren Tipton, Amanda Fleischer, Kim Lance

Background/Objective: The rise of nutrition-related diseases (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, obesity) is at all time high nationwide. Raw food diets typically consist of uncooked vegetables, fruit and grains as well as raw meat and dairy products. These foods could be slightly heated but not above 120oF as to preserve its natural components. College students have the habit of eating processed and fatty foods but diets rich in raw/unprocessed foods may break this pattern. This study explores the new trend and popularity of consuming raw and unprocessed foods on Indiana State University campus. Methods: Thirty seven participants aged 19 years and older completed questionnaire on frequency, type and reasons for consuming raw/unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains. Data was collated and analyzed using SPSS crosstab analysis. Results: About 63% of participants consumed raw vegetables and fruits 1-2 times daily. However, fewer participants consumed rawnuts or grains. The reasons for eating raw foods were evenly split. Participants who ate raw foods for enjoyment or health reasons were 33% respectively while 30% did so for health and enjoyment. When assessed between genders, females ate more raw foods than males in all parameters examined. Significance: Although many unhealthy food options are eaten on campuses, it is encouraging to find that students incorporate wholesome raw and unprocessed foods into their daily diets – a positive response to this new food trend.

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