Ramen noodles could be putting college students and frugal eaters at greater risk of developing chronic illness, according to a recent study.

The instant noodles have long been a staple for the cash-strapped, but they could be putting their fans at risk of further nutritional deficits already caused by a lack of affordable and fresh fruits and vegetables, suggests a study presented at a meeting of the Dietitians Association of Australia.

According to the study, conducted by Australian researchers Danielle Gallegos and Kai Wen Ong, one in four college students reported insecurity about being able to afford food.

Of those students, two-thirds said they ate two or less servings of fruit per week, suggesting that money spent on more-filling but sodium- and MSG-laden Ramen noodles and fast food takes away from funds that could be spent on healthy but less-filling fruits and vegetables.

Those who relied on instant noodles and other cheap food with little nutritional content were at greater risk of chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes and heart disease, the researchers found.

While the study was based in Australia, results seem to reflect conditions among college kids and low-income individuals across America as well.

With new efforts initiated by the White House and supported by First Lady Michelle Obama, however, affordable healthy foods are expected to become more available in low-income areas across the U.S., as MainStreet previously reported.