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Nutrition comes to the Beach

In stressful times it might be easier to reach for junk-food than to spend time figuring out where and how to put together a healthy nutritious meal for lunch. Jacqueline Lee, associate professor of nutrition and dietetics, answered some questions on how to improve students eating habits just in time for the campus’ National Nutrition event on March 10th through the 12th.

Do students eat as bad as everyone thinks?

I think it depends. Commuting students may not eat quite as badly as those who are living on campus, because commuting students still have the parental guidance there. Overall I think that you can make good options at our campus. However, the nutritional knowledge itself is generally lacking so students tend not to make the best choices. Also, with all the stress that comes with school students tend to eat foods that are a little more comforting.

What do you think about the food that is available here at campus?

You can make good choices if you choose the lower calorie foods. There are restaurants here that offer that, but those foods aren’t always the ones that taste the best. All foods fit in moderation.

Do you buy lunch here at campus?

I usually bring my own lunch.

What information on nutrition is available to students here at campus?

Nutrition counseling is available at the Health Resource Center. Students are counseled by peer nutrition counselors or students who are dietetic majors. They can provide you with information on nutrition evaluate your dietary habits and address weight management. Counselors follow their students throughout the semester. March is National Nutrition Month. The Student Dietetic Association is planning various activities on campus on March 10th through the 12th.

Are these services popular?

Yes, the campus services are well used.

Have you been getting positive feedback from students attending the counseling sessions?

Yes we have. It’s interesting; our counselors expect students to know a lot about nutrition, but many times it turns out that they don’t. Feedback from students that have attended the nutrition counseling showed that they thought that it was very helpful and that they learned a lot from it.

Would you like to see other restaurants here on campus (healthier alternatives)?

Don’t we have a Quiznos or Subway here at campus? These restaurants are ok. They’re fairly healthy.

What do you think of all the vending-machines at campus?

I hate to say it, but I find it annoying that there are so many vending-machines here with unhealthy choices. Apparently that is a big obsession at our campus so they won’t give them up. It would be nice if they removed them. I’d love to see them do that.

Would students go crazy if they were removed?

If you were to remove the sodas and put in beverages that were more nutritious they might make use of them or maybe students wouldn’t use them at all.

What advice can you give to students who are under a lot of stress but are trying to eat healthy?

When you are under stress the better choice would be foods that combine protein and carbohydrates along with a little bit of fat. Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar or fat. If you were to go to Subway, pick whole wheat, avoid high fat fillings and make sure you are including fruits and vegetables in your serving.

What about coffee, how many cups are simply too much?

Three cups of coffee a day is not a problem. Drinking 6-8 cups of coffee a day or large amounts in one sitting is not very good. Then you’re consuming too much caffeine. In that dosage you are losing fluids and some of the B vitamins.

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