By Juliana Spano SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
Walk into the Student Center dining hall at lunchtime on any given day, and you will find dozens of students waiting in line to pay for their midday omelet or chocolate milkshake. Early on in their time at Hofstra, these students learn where to go for the tastiest eats on campus, but what they don’t learn is what they should be eating.
A healthy lifestyle is essential for people who wish to thrive academically. Without proper nutrition, the brain is not able to function at its optimum capacity, and yet, Hofstra does not require any nutritional courses; nor has it provided a freshmen nutrition seminar once this year.
In fact, the “Intro to Nutritional Science” course dictates that prospective students must have previously enrolled in biology or chemistry – two courses not required for distribution credit and thus, likely not taken by non- science-centric majors.
Because of this, many students may have trouble adapting to campus food-life, but there are few options for learning about how to maintain a healthy diet.
Think about it. We enter college as freshmen overwhelmed by the prospect of acclimating to an entirely new independent lifestyle. This stress may make us prone to consuming comfort food such as ice cream, mac and cheese and French fries – of which there is no shortage on campus.
Add in a few drinks on the weekends, plus some late night study snacks and the calorie budget is inflating toward the infamous Freshman 15. It’s real. Health.com reported that 70 percent of freshmen gain weight, while WebMD found that one in four college students gain around 10 pounds in their first year.
With all of these unhealthy options and a lack of nutritional education, younger students are bound to make mistakes that can damage their health.
This is why Hofstra needs to better educate the student body regarding nutrition. The University has a nutritionist, but she is poorly advertised and therefore underutilized. Students have so many helpful resources on campus – academic counselors, deans, professors – but they are not guided to focus on their health, which should come first.
To entice students to eat healthily, Hofstra should host nutrition seminars – either at freshmen orientation, or during Welcome Week. These times are best because they take place during the beginning of students’ liberation period. Often times, people do take interest in their health until they are taught about it.
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