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College of Human Ecology

Eating healthy means change in lifestyle, not just a quick fix

Thursday, March 3, 2005

MANHATTAN -- As the "Freshman 15" weighs on many students' minds, some cope with making healthy choices by turning to fad diets.

"It's a real common thing. When students move out of their home and come here, their mother isn't putting the food on the table anymore," said Sheryl Powell, director of Kansas State University's Kramer Dining Center. "People sometimes don't understand how they need to eat and live their lives in order to maintain a healthy weight. Advertising and marketing campaigns convince students that they need to eat certain ways that aren't necessarily good."

Powell said K-State's dining centers have seen some influx of students wanting to eat low-carbohydrate foods. The dining centers provided low-carb items such as lettuce wraps for students, but they also tried to inform students of what the diet was doing to their bodies.

"Most of our students don't want to be overweight or obese, and they are willing to do just about anything to not have that happen," Powell said. "But some of those things that they do are not necessarily safe, and they don't work."

Powell suggested that students need to learn to eat for a lifetime - not just a quick fix. To do so, she suggests five steps to a healthier lifestyle:

1. Controlling total calorie consumption
2. Decreasing portion size
3. Increasing activity level
4. Watching the percentage of fat in food items
5. Limiting snacking to healthier, lower calorie foods.

This article was posted on Thursday, March 3, 2005, and is filed under College News, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health.