Malnutrition in College Campuses

Malnutrition is a huge concern among universities across the United States, more specifically for students, staff, faculty, and other lawmakers that surround California State University: San Jose. The World Health Organization defines malnutrition as “deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.” This may be found as a result of eating too little, eating too much, and eating unhealthy foods. Solving this problem in an ethical manner would constitute virtue ethics in which individuals do the right thing, in this case help for the greater good and help properly nourish those fighting malnutrition, while building their character at the same time.

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People decide what kind of moral compass shape up their beliefs and unite as one in the shape of clubs and organizations to fight for one cause. The Greek Philosopher Aristotle rejected absolutism in regard to ethics and believed that Greek virtue are the skills and opportunities you managed well. To be virtuous is to act with excellence and to discover something’s purpose, and investigate what that thing does best.

Therefore, if something performs its function or purpose effectively it is virtuous. When it comes to accomplishing a certain task or a certain goal we must constantly practice the virtue and make it a habit according to Aristotle. Deciding to start living a healthier lifestyle and be a great way of practicing virtue ethics. This would not only benefits ourselves but the people the surround us as well. There’s two forms of virtue, which are moral and intellectual virtues. The moral virtues are when our soul is trying to control desires. Intellectual virtue is when our soul concentrates on intellectual and spiritual matters. With this they are able to learn well, think straight and act accordingly. Moral virtue is determined by the intellectual virtue of wisdom. Then there’s the Golden mean which is discovered through various reasons such as, the concept of moderation, by utilizing the golden mean we can become a good person, and that a moral person knows how to balance what is too much and too little. The actions that are wrong we should avoid but should strive for the ones that are right according to this ethical theory. As a college student it’s definitely hard to have a healthy lifestyle but every action or feeling can be done in the right amount.

This ethical theory is criticized of being an ethical relativist because virtue is relative to situation and culture. However, Aristotle says that the virtues are universally there, soft universalism is a great example of that. They also say that virtues are to vague, that it is so uncertain to say something is the right amount or what to avoid and what not to avoid. When it comes to our health though we know what we should be consuming and what we should not. In order to have a healthier life in the long run we start deciding the right and wrong for our bodies now. They also ask themselves what happens when two virtuous people disagree? Well there’s always a reason why people disagree but that is when compromise kicks in. It’s important to recognize that college students are most likely living their first years as independent individuals but unfortunately, this has both its ups and downs especially its huge down – one’s diet. These students are open to a pandora box that gives them the option to freely choose what they’ll consume, something that may be influenced by various factors and unfortunately, the healthier alternative typically isn’t the optimal alternative for the student. Often times, it may be much more practical for students to consume foods and drinks that are much more accessible to them such as fast food, grab n’ go junk food, and many other unhealthy choices since it takes much less time to get a hold of these kinds of foods.

In the long term, these food choices will ultimately harm students’ bodies as a result of constant consumption. Moreover, this problem may be experienced much more heavier by students living in off-campus housing as their susceptibility to fast food is much greater. It’s much more conventional for them to grab something from a fast food joint as a result of its prep and serve time along with the price tag. In contrast, students opting to cook at home may usually find themselves spending much more time preparing the food, cooking it, and sitting at the table to consume for a most likely bigger cost although this option most likely is a much more healthy one as a result of avoiding the high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods typically found in fast food places such as McDonald’s or Chipotle. Additionally, these foods most likely will contain little to no servings of fruits and vegetables, options that are a huge part of having a balanced meal as a result of its important nutrient properties. Choosing to stick with on-campus food or dining at home may be better for the body as a result of choosing to opt for smaller portions of food. Another dilemma that typically complements malnutrition is that composing food insecurity, which typically plays a big part in students’ performance and participation in the institution. It’s notable that many organizations and programs have made continuous efforts to fight this issue for the future generations of college students in the Silicon Valley.

The USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture, defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” A tangent related to food insecurity many students might have in relation to this topic is the negligence of the on-campus and off-campus programs and resources available to them. Though this may be as a result of exposure/marketing by these programs, it’s important to note that a bigger role should be played by these organizations to make their voice heard in order to help others. This relates to the virtue ethics as people are willing to help for the greater good but more often than not, their efforts must be increased in order to help those in need of it. Moreover, the topic of this essay relates to combating malnutrition at a local level at California State University: San Jose since combating this problem on a worldwide scale would require much more research and specifics on economies of each governing body and countries around the world. Multiple food opportunities are available to CSU San Jose students to combat the devastating effects of malnutrition on the daily including the Spartan Food Pantry, Just in Time mobile food pantry, and CalFresh application assistance.

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