Today: Jul 23, 2024

Healthy food options on campus

Juliemar Ortiz Special to the Southern News

For students who find it hard to stay healthy, Ebony McClease, a graduate intern in the Women’s Center, said it is easier than students might think.

Living a healthy lifestyle, according to McClease is not only about what people should put into their bodies, but also what they should not be eating.

“The things we drink and put into our body are really scary,” she said.

McClease said college students are among the worst of people who do things to their body that are harmful; some people over eat; others take drugs.

Food is essential for everyone to live, however, food can also be harmful to the body if not taken in properly.

“It’s about eating the right proportions,” said McClease, “Sometime you walk into Conn Hall and see people with three or four plates.”

Overeating, as well as under eating, can cause the body to become ill. In an article on, it says, “Overeating even for short periods of time appears to have long-term effects.” These long-term effects include Obesity and Diabetes.

One way for someone to make sure they are eating the right amount of food is to use the My Plate model, which was recently put into place over the Food Pyramid in 2010. According to the website the new model “illustrates the five food groups using a familiar mealtime visual, a place setting.”  Dominique Whisnant, a sophomore, accounting major said her new year resolution is to follow the “My Plate” guidelines too.

“It’s so simple to follow, I just make sure my plate looks just like the model,” said Whisnant.

Elaine Cozzi, Controller of Chartwells, the food service provided on campus, said another way to keep track of how much food to eat, at least students who eat at Connecticut Dining Hall, can visit

“Here students can see how many calories everything has, and how much they should eat,” she said.

Another product McClease said students can use incorrectly is medicine.

She said while medicine can help when sick, it can be dangerous if it is not taken properly because it is a drug.

“There are people who take Nyquil just for a sniffle,” said McClease.

According to an article on, Nyquil is the combination of acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine, and pseudoephedrine, used to treat headache, fever, body aches, cough, runny nose, sneezing, itching, and watery eyes caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu. However, if more than the recommended medication is taken, an overdose of acetaminophen can damage the liver or cause death.

McClease said reading labels and informing themselves is the best way to know what medicine people should or should not be taking. She also suggests sometimes people should let their body fight things off on their own.

Energy drinks are another item that McClease said students put into their bodies and should not be.

“People drink all sorts of crazy things,” she said.

Energy drinks contain very high amounts of caffeine and other ingredients that are harmful to the body. The problem is, said McClease, people do not know what is in the drinks, and all they know is that it gets them through their day and they drink too many.

“It’s important to know,” said McClease. “What we put into our bodies now can really affect you when you’re older.”


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