The average student lives on a diet of spag bol, jacket potatoes and frozen pizzas, a study revealed yesterday.
Research shows the typical scholar munches his or her way through almost 200 platefuls of spaghetti bolognaise during their time at university.
Stir-fry dishes came fourth followed by beans and toast, according to the poll of 2,000 students.
The study was carried out by Sainsbury’s to launch its Student Meal Ticket card.
Sainsbury’s Nutritionist Charlotte Parker said: ”It can be a shock for youngsters when they move away from home for the first time.
”If you have never cooked before, it can be a struggle mastering the basics and getting to grips with what food goes together.
”It’s important that students don’t just resort to eating fast food and take-aways and eat a healthy and varied diet.
”It’s pleasing to see that spaghetti bolognaise is the most popular dish as it can be a relatively healthy balanced meal, especially if you pack it full of vegetables, use extra lean mince and season with herbs rather than adding too much salt.”
The study found three quarters of uni-goers eat more nutritional food at home while seven out of ten also said they miss mum’s cooking.
Over 40 per cent of students who took part in the poll said they struggled cooking for themselves the first time they moved away from home.
The poll also revealed three quarters recycle the same meals every week.
Cooking politics in a student house can vary with 46 per cent of housemates saying they make their own meals but a more sociable 39 per cent take it in turns.
A resourceful 14 per cent say that those who cook get out of the washing-up afterwards.
But it’s not harmony all the time, with 21 per cent of respondents saying they have fallen out with fellow students over the weekly shop.
And a whopping 70 per cent said there have been arguments over stealing each others food.
Charlotte Parker added: ”Sainsbury’s has everything a student needs – the Meal Ticket to help with their funds, and the great basics range with hundreds of items at £1 or less and over 50 ways to get your five a day.
”So being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to eat unhealthily.”
The poll also revealed many students add a personal touch to dishes with 18 per cent admitting to adding Worcester Sauce to baked beans and a quirky 44 per cent add crisps to sandwiches.
Top 20 Student Meals
1. Spaghetti Bolognaise
2. Jacket potato with a filling
3. Frozen pizza
5. Beans on toast
6. Pasta and pesto
7. Bacon sandwich
9. Microwave ready meal
10. Tuna pasta bake
15. Beef burgers and chips
16. Pot Noodles
17. Readymade Pie
18. Spaghetti Carbonara
19. Sausage, egg and chips
20. Spaghetti hoops on toast