CU focuses on Nutrition

Photo by Kaitlyn Stockton.

Photo by Kaitlyn Stockton.

Kaitlyn Stockton

Copy Editor

Cameron University’s Health and Physical Education Club (HPE) wants students to eat healthy.

On Oct. 29, HPE presented students and faculty members with a nutrition workshop.

At 2 p.m. in the Shepler Ballroom, Sport and Fitness Management Instructor Andra Hunt led the seminar with a presentation on combating the large serving sizes and calories of the American diet; she also discussed how audience members can take small steps to change these unhealthy habits.

HPE provided students with wheat spaghetti and meat sauce, spaghetti squash and applesauce brownies. To wash these healthy alternatives down, students were given a choice of strawberry, orange or watermelon water – healthy substitutes for soda.

Hunt said the event was held to increase awareness of obesity and ways to combat this epidemic.

“Obesity is an issue nationwide,” Hunt said. “We have a large portion of students on campus that want to or desire to better themselves in their personal health lives, so this was just an event to help people to gain the basic information that they can take away.”

To foster healthier habits, Hunt believes students must learn how to count calories and watch their serving sizes.

“In our culture and society, our serving sizes are three times what they need to be,” Hunt said. “When we go to a restaurant, we are usually getting three to four servings more than what is actually necessary. We have to retrain our brains to learn what the real serving sizes are to make those wiser choices.”

To do this, Hunt introduced audience members to a new tool: MyPlate. MyPlate is the current nutrition guide used by the United States Department of Agriculture and depicts the correct portion sizes of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy in that an American needs in his or her daily diet.

“So many people have said, ‘I need a visual. I want to know what my plate should look like.’ MyPlate breaks it down for you,” Hunt said. “Half of your plate should be devoted to fruits and veggies. A quarter needs to be protein, and the other quarter needs to be whole-grain.”

According to Hunt, MyPlate is a perfect tool for parents to use to teach their children how to eat healthy. If children grow up using this plate, Hunt believes they will learn healthy habits which will help them to become healthy adults.

“It is great for kids,” she said. “They become mentally aware of what the actually serving size looks like so they can get used to it. You won’t have children that overeat as they grow up if they get accustomed to it.”

Hunt provided students with a formula used to calculate their basal metabolic rates (BMR). Students can use this rate to determine their recommended daily calorie intake. By using this number and watching their calories, students can avoid the dangers excessive calories may present.

“We way over consume calories,” she said. “That is the United States as a whole. If students will take that formula home, work it and calculate their BMR instead of using a set standard from a textbook, it will help them find the correct amount of calories that they need to consume.”

For the future, Hunt said HPE is planning to hold more workshops next semester. In the meantime, Hunt welcomes students to ask her any questions relating to serving sizes, calories or creating healthy habits.

“Hopefully students take away some key pointers to take home and apply to their personal lives,” Hunt said. “It’s really more of making small changes in order to have a healthier campus.”

For more information, readers can contact Hunt at ahunt@cameron.edu or visit HPE’s Facebook page for upcoming events and workshops.

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