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Bianchini: Beat obesity, eat healthy

BY FRANCESCA BIANCHINI | SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 6:30 AM

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As students, we’re constantly surrounded by food. There are dining halls, convenience stores, small snacks in mini-fridges, and numerous downtown restaurants we pass going to and from class on a daily basis.

According to a report done by the Trust for America’s Health, if obesity reports continue to increase, Iowa could reach 54.4 percent in obesity rate by 2030.

Sure, the University of Iowa makes attempts to steer students in a healthy direction, but the options that the university provides are sparse and could use improvement. The Burge dining hall offers Wellness Wednesday with a yogurt bar, a salad bar, and a vegan-friendly food station.

But anyone with anything that remotely resembles a taste bud would steer clear of these options. The sight of pudding getting mixed into the lettuce or carrots mingling with the gelatin isn’t a very warm welcome into the low-calorie life.

According to the American Heart Association, average caloric-intake for an adult female is 1,800 calories, 2,500 calories for an adult male. A patty melt courtesy of the Burge dining hall is 1,162 calories alone. That’s practically half a day’s calorie intake by itself — sans sides or drinks.

However, the university isn’t entirely to blame for college students’ issues with healthy eating.

We’re in college. We’re expected to take 15 semester hours, hold onto a job, and figure out what we want to do with our lives. We should be able to make the right choices when it comes to what we put on our dinner plates.

So maybe next time you decide to stop in the dining hall for a quick bite, you’ll spare yourself the patty melt and hit the salad bar. A little gelatin mixed into a salad never hurt anyone.


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