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Eating Habits of Trinity Undergraduates

In spring 2018, Trinity medical students in partnership with Healthy Trinity undertook a survey of student eating habits that incorporated the Healthy Ireland IPSOS MRBI survey which was published in 2015. An abstract of their findings is below.

Introduction: Diet and smoking are two lifestyle factors that play a key role in determining one’s health and risk factors for morbidity. The aims of this study were to survey the eating and smoking habits of Trinity College undergraduate students and compare them to national statistics.

Method: Data were collected using an anonymous online questionnaire, distributed via email to the Trinity undergraduate population.

Results: 1,910 undergraduates responded to the survey. Trinity students appear to have a healthy diet when compared to national figures, consuming more fruit and vegetables and less snack portions and sugar-sweetened drinks than the rest of the population. Lack of time was identified as the main barrier to healthy eating among students.

Conclusion: Trinity students have healthier eating and smoking habits than the general population. Students are vulnerable to developing poor eating and lifestyle habits during the transition to college, therefore, it is important that the college is aware of its students’ current eating and smoking habits, in order to implement more effective intervention campaigns specific to its student population. A key target area identified by this study is student time management as a barrier to healthy eating.  

This research was completed by medical students Aoife Doyle, Daire Pryal and Lorna Mooney with supervision by Martina Mullin (College Health Service) and Dr. Catherine Hayes (School of Medicine) and support from Dr. David McGrath (Director of College Health Service), Prof. Joseph Harbison (School of Medicine) and Dr. Aileen Patterson (Head and Deputy Head of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning in School of Medicine, respectively)

Put Up Healthy Eating Posters

A student on the Healthy Eating Committee, Jessica, designed these posters. We're encouraging students and staff to put them up near where you study/work. Click on the pictures to download them. If you'd like some printed ones email Martina on












Healthy Eating On Campus

Eating healthily on campus is a combination of knowledge and choice. You can read more about balanced, healthy eating here (PDF, 68 kB) so that you have the tools to make healthy choices.
There are a wide variety of catering facilities on campus. The staff at catering services are well-informed about healthy eating and make every effort to provide healthy choices at all venues and at all times. Here are some of the positive changes that have been made in recent times:

  • A healthy meal option is available every day
  • Roast meats are cooked on racks to allow the fat to drain away
  • Vegetable oil is used in cooking
  • Vegetables are steamed and no butter is added to the finished products
  • Low fat mayonnaise is used for salads
  • Low fat dressings are available
  • Wholemeal and brown breads are available as alternatives to white
  • Healthy snacks are available in all areas. These are clearly labelled in a healthy eating section

Health Eating In College Accommodation

The Healthy Trinity: Healthy Eating Committee works with the Accommodation Office to ensure there is a good standard of cooking facilities in Trinity student accommodation. If you have any queries about cooking facilities in Trinity accommodation, please email Martina on The Committee is interested in all feedback.

Healthy Recipes at a Low Cost

We love a goji berry as much as the next person but carrots are just as healthy and a lot cheaper. This book, 101+ Square Meals is full of great healthy recipes that are easy and cheap to make. We recommend it.




If you have any questions or suggestions about healthy eating on campus, please contact the health promotion officer at