Feedme is a project that aims to help college students learn about nutrition and apply it to the choices they make in their campus dining halls, as well as being more mindful of the eating experience. Feedme offers an interactive tool that keeps users engaged, and yet enable them to connect more with themselves and listen to what their own bodies need. We also utilize the existing nutritive database of each school to allow students a more accurate tracking tool, hence giving them real-time advice on what to eat to fuel their bodies. Overtime, Feedme will develop to become smarter and learn the ingredients students prefer, hence giving them better suggestions each time they want some help.
Weight gain during the pursuit of a college degree has long been a problematic situation for many students. A study by Auburn University in Alabama found that 70% of students put on weight by graduation, with an average of 12, and up to 37 pounds. The overall percentage of overweight students also increases from 18% to 31%. This frightening data of the added pounds can be attributed to late night study habits, fueled by sugary and fattening snacks, all-you-can-eat dining halls and other unhealthy options, such as alcohol consumption, stress and a lack of activity (Ozberak 2010). However, the most problematic cause possibly came from the disconnection between students’ bodies and their senses. Mealtime becomes a social activity or an on-the-go errand, and so students eat and snack mindlessly without really paying attention to what their bodies need and want. Eating no longer acts as a way to fuel their body for action, but rather an automatic activity that requires little attention and care.
This weight gain, in turn, can be a major distraction for students. Many will turn to dieting for a solution, and in more serious cases, students develop eating disorders to shred the pounds. A survey of the rate of eating disorders among college students showed that 25% of male students have signs of ED, and 32.6% for females (White, 2011). These numbers are alarmingly high, and without proper guidance, students have to waste their already limited time and energy on trying to lose weight, often time with very little success.
Feedme aim to make eating a positive experience for all students. Instead of making it a restrictive activity or giving them a “budget constraints,” we want students to look at food as fuel for their lives, and to encourage them to make wholesome and healthy choices. The trips to the dining hall should be something students enjoy, not an activity they have to stress over and feel guilty about.
Real-time feedbacks help students navigate through their day, making sure they are eating what their bodies need. The integration of online database of the provided food takes the guesswork out of their effort to eat wholesomely and healthily, allowing them to pick and choose what's actually available at the moment.
When students are provided with an user-friendly, comprehensive tool to guide them through a healthy and balance lifestyle, the spend less time worrying about weight and more time dedicating to their academic and social lives. This project, therefore, has the potential to build up students’ stress tolerance, enhancing their performance in school as well as other aspects of their lives.
I am currently looking for a co-founder who is passionate about this project, especially one with developing skills. However if you just want to contribute, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can find my contact information on the Contact page.