Changes in eating habits are a normal part of the transition to life on a college campus. Many students are used to having their meals prepared for them at home, but all of a sudden are exposed to dining halls, new foods, eating as a social activity, and eating under stress.


For many students the transition to student life will involve a small amount of weight gain. More like the “freshman five” rather than the rumored ten or fifteen. This may result from eating more than  usual, eating different foods, or simply having less time to be active (especially true for former athletes).

Although RHS does not have a nutritionist on staff, individual nutrition counseling is available with any of our clinicians.  The clinician can help:

  • Tailor your diet to meet your individual health needs, such as vegetarian meal planning
  • Dietary management of high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels
  • Identify dangerous dietary habits that may contribute to the development of an eating disorder and make appropriate referrals if indicated
  • Maintain healthy eating patterns while coping with the pressures of campus life
  • Design a nutritious diet within limited financial resources and make healthy selections in the dining hall
  • Set realistic nutrition goals and ways to meet them

Dining Services also has a Registered Dietician who works with any student who has a meal plan and a medical need for nutritional counseling.  The R.D. can be very helpful in helping students make healthy choices within Dining Services. To contact her, email: peggyp@rci.rutgers.edu.

Nutrition advocates are also available through H.O.P.E.  They may provide information in conjunction with your clinician about healthy eating and lifestyle choices.  Nutrition Advocates may also provide workshops to a residence hall or organization. H.O.P.E. also provides a variety of reading material geared towards helping students to make healthy nutritional choices,  click here to read more on this topic.


For some students, eating can become more disordered in college, leading to weight loss or gain, binge eating and purging, or an unhealthy amount of time spent thinking about food.  Clinicians can work with those students and coordinate with a multidisciplinary team to provide the best approach to treatment.

Click here for more information on how eating disorders are treated at Rutgers.