Students struggle to eat healthy during first weeks of spring semester
Endless heaps of food in the various dining halls can put students with ambitious New Year's resolutions behind schedule. With 2016 in its opening stretch, eating healthy is something many students have set as their goal.
“I want to eat healthier in 2016," premedical freshman Emma Osterholzer said. "I'm trying to stay away from the desserts in the caf.”
Many students are very afraid that the infamous “Freshman 15,” the rumor that incoming freshmen will gain 15 pounds their first year due to unhealthy food, affected them when first arriving on campus and see eating healthier as a way to change their lifestyle habits.
Though the rumor is prevalent around MSU, recent research disproves this.
The "Freshman 15" is nothing more than a myth, according to MSU Nutrition Research.
"Numerous studies show that average freshmen weight gain is actually less than 3 pounds," according to the Olin Health Center.
MSU dining halls do have a multitude of unhealthy choices such as french fries, hamburgers, chicken fingers and arrays of desserts. Nevertheless, these unhealthy foods are among many healthy options.
There are salad bars in every MSU cafeteria. Instead of choosing a hamburger or another fried food, a salad with lean meat is a healthy alternative to tempting, fatty foods.
Fruits and vegetables are also available in all of the cafeterias on campus, yet some students still do not find the amount of these healthier foods to be satisfiable.
“There are only bananas and apples in (The Gallery)," mathematics freshman Katie Church said. "I wish there were more berries.”
The MSU Student Health Services website has many tips for healthy eating in the New Year.
One of their articles includes a list of “Positive Eating Guidelines," many of which MSU dietitians recommend may be very helpful to students.
According to the guidelines, it is important that students do not restrict themselves from certain types of foods.
“Making food the issue by restricting, dieting, skipping meals, etc. in most cases will result in a tendency to inhale food," it read.
Anne Buffington, a MSU nutritionist, also had many helpful tips for students.
"The truth is dieting is a consistent predictor of weight gain not weight loss. Because of the harmful effects dieting has on our body and brain, approximately 90% of dieters will regain their weight, and over 50% will regain more weight than what they lost. "
Buffington emphasizes to trust your body, trust your appetite, and trust yourself with food when it comes to eating.
"Depriving yourself of food also depletes nutrition to the brain, creating difficulty concentrating, and a strong preoccupation with food which can lead to intense food cravings and binge-eating behaviors. Simply put, you do not fail the diet, the diet fails you, " Buffington said. "If it takes ignoring your hunger signals, and applying strict food rules, you are not eating for health."
For more information, students are encouraged to make an appointment with a nutritionist from the Olin Health Center. Nutrition services are available without charge to all MSU students.
"Why not resolve to make peace with food and weight this year? Your body will thank you."