Photo Courtesy of Pepperdine’s Student Health Center
The Student Health Center has partnered with the Student Counseling Center to promote this year’s National Nutritional Month theme of “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” to educate students on why and how to eat better.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics declares a new nutrition theme every March about the importance of making informed food choices and healthier habits. Since consumer research has confirmed that taste often tops nutrition when it comes to purchasing one food over another, the academy’s key message this year is a combination of taste and nutrition.
The Student Health Center, through their new initiative Healthy Campus 2020, has taken the initiative to inform students about this year’s theme and provide tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle while in college.
“I have been an intern in the Student Health Center in addition to other venues to help create and implement the first year of HC2020 and our nutrition emphasis,” Student Health Center intern Caitlin Schoensiegel wrote in an email.
There have been several attempts this semester to promote the theme, Schoensiegel said, who has been a part of presentations given in dorms, a large scale convocation titled “Nutrition for the Soul” and other outreach programs. These events were possibly due to the efforts of the Student Health Advisory Board and the Student Health Center staff. “The food choices have definitely improved since my freshman year, but there is still room for improvement,” senior Alis Sokolova said.
A few years ago when the Student Health Center dietitian Katherine McCune joined the Food Committee, there were few nutritious options, but through continuous efforts, the Caf now offers vegetarian and vegan options and more fruit and vegetable side options.
The Student Health Center also tabled in the Caf on Wednesday to raise awareness on the “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” theme. Like at many other events, they brought healthy snacks and information to the students.
Student Health Center dietician Katherine McCune said students should “have structure in their eating routine” because it doesn’t matter how well you eat if you don’t eat like that regularly. She said she recommends taking a look at the “My Plate” visual implemented by the USDA, and if students are still in need of further assistance in regards to their eating plan, they should contact her directly.
The next initiative will be “Fuel for Finals” starting April 9, which will focus on the importance of food and water during stressful times like the week before finals and provide students helpful tips to combat the stress.
Tips for living a healthier lifestyle according to Health Center intern Caitlin Schoensiegel:
1) Stay hydrated
2) Energize: food is fuel
3) Eat smaller meals throughout the day; eat a meal or snack every 2-5 hours
4) Make breakfast a priority
5) Eat mindfully; stress leads to poor food choices and carb cravings
“Health Risk Questionnaire” Results for Pepperdine 2011-2012 according to the Health Center:
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