Have you eaten today? Many college students may have to ponder the answer to that question.

Hello, I’m Dr. Brooke Hidlebrand Clubbs at Southeast Missouri State University. Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, “food” is at the base level of that pyramid, as it is a physiological need. When this need is not met, it can cause a plethora of problems mentally, physically, and academically.

College students may not miss meals due to a diet plan, but because of stress and busy schedules. Not only does a student have to account for their academic life, but they are also expected to maintain a social life, take on extra-curricular activities and employment, as well as get enough sleep. While attempting to balance these things, they may feel some corners have to be cut.

When students are over-scheduled like this, they may not build in time to eat during the day and then they may overeat at night. This can affect them negatively not just in the short term with lower grades, lack of energy, and irritability, but according to the CDC, in the long term with high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and more. While skipping a meal here and there may be ok sometimes, and honestly, may even be out of your control; it is not something college students should make a habit. Academic advisors may need to check that students are including time to eat in their schedules.

Content for this segment was created by Darian Norfleet. Darian currently works in admissions at Southeast and is completing a graduate certificate in Trauma and Resilience Studies. She hopes to move on to working as a case manager for students who experienced Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) at a behavioral health network.


O’Pella, K. (2022, March 8). Hilltop Views. Retrieved from https://www.hilltopviewsonline.com/25070/life-and-arts/25070/

Mcleod, S. (2023, March 10). SimplyPsychology. Retrieved from Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs Theory: https://simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

CDC. (2022, July 28). Centers fro Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/blood-sugar.html#:~:text=Skipping%20breakfast%E2%80%94going%20without%20that,control%20the%20later%20it%20gets.

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