January 15, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 58  

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Campus Life delivers healthy cookin’ and eatin’

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

Dave Picard/Gazette
PIZZA: THE FIFTH FOOD GROUP. Fourth-year geography student Adam Kuypers shows off his oh-so greasy and ubertasty lunch.

Late night pizza, Kraft Dinner, beer breakfasts — let’s face it, students just aren’t the healthiest eaters.

We’re all guilty. We’ve ordered takeout at midnight while we’re polishing the last (or first) page of an essay or skipped meals only to stuff our faces later with mass quantities of oh-so yummy (and unhealthy) food. But as Anne Zok, nutrition manager for Western’s hospitality services, notes, nutrition is as important as ever.

Zok stresses the importance nutrition has in keeping students strong to survive stressful times like essay-writing or exam periods. “It’s the simple things that make a difference,” Zok explains, adding that making the effort to eat healthier all the time will help students remain strong through periods of high stress.

Despite different types of popular fad diets, including low-carb diets such as Atkins or South Beach, Zok notes that healthy eating should be based on the Canadian Food Guide to Healthy Eating. “Nutrition is very important and can be quite easy,” she adds.

“Junk food makes you tired; in the long run you’re doing yourself a favour by eating healthy, you’ll be much more alert,” Zok notes. Hospitality Services has been working to make more healthy eating choices available on campus by flagging goods that are lower in fat or vegetarian choices.

FOOD CHART KEY. Circles = fat (naturally ocurring and added) and triangles = sugars (added). These symbols show fat and added sugars in foods. They come mostly from the fats, oils, and sweets group. But foods in other groups — such as cheese or ice cream — can also provide fat and added sugars.

While it may be difficult to spare the time to prepare meals, Zok recommends using weekends to cook large portions of food to freeze, as well as stuffing your freezer and buying canned, dried or frozen fruits and veggies. Planning ahead of time will help save time and keep everyone away from the unhealthy midnight McDonald’s run.

According to Melanie Slade, health education volunteer co-ordinator at Student Health Services, nutrition is one of the more common concerns brought up by students. Slade says SHS offers information about healthy eating during busy periods, tips on packing lunches and general nutrient information among other resources available to students.

Zok explains that free nutrition counselling is available to students through Hospitality Services for those interested.

—For more information visit Student Health Services in Rm. 11 of the University Community Centre or check out www.uwo.ca/housing/food



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