Ponnada: Beware cheap eats

BY SRI PONNADA | AUGUST 22, 2012 6:30 AM

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Students: Beware of cheap eats and colossal cholesterol levels.

Where do we go on Sunday nights when the dining halls are closed? Somewhere good and greasy.

The university should keep dining halls open on Sunday nights for dinner because the halls provide for more, healthier options.

Students looking for a quick bite at a cheap price tend to flock to the nearest fast-food joint. Take, for instance, McDonald’s.

McDoubles, fries, and soda for less than five bucks seems amazing, doesn’t it? Guess what — you’re getting a lot more for your money at McDonald’s than you think.

Every McDouble might be “under 400 calories,” as the major fast-food company advertises on its website, but it also comes with 65 mg of cholesterol.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that daily intake of cholesterol should be limited to 300 mg. If I eat two McDoubles for dinner on Sunday night, I’m taking in 130 mg.

So, in a single meal, that’s nearly half the amount I’m supposed to have per day and is of little or no substantial nutritional value. With high cholesterol and heart disease plaguing the nation, is it wise to snack on McD’s or any other fast food?

Ryan Cohenour, the Housing assistant director of for contracts and assignments, said if a student is on the full-board meal plan — the most popular on campus — the cost of each meal comes out to about $4.26.

That’s as good a deal, if not better, than what you’re getting at McDonald’s.

Burge Marketplace manager Anne Harkins said the meals served at Burge are extremely healthy. Such options as fresh vegetables, a salad and yogurt bar, and whole-wheat pasta and breads add to Burge’s variety and nutritional value.

Yes, the dining halls do also serve greasy goods found at fast-food joints such as French fries; however, the point is at least at the dining-hall students have the option to make healthy choices.

Think about it. The benefits that result from keeping dining halls open on Sunday nights are phenomenal for the student population. Students would be saving money on food, time on transport and most importantly, they would be able to save themselves from dangerous diseases and health conditions caused by greasy foods. Spending $3 on McDoubles every Sunday night may just cost you $300,000 for open-heart surgery a few years from now.

McDonald’s: I’m not loving it. Are you?

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