Healthy living starts much sooner than your graduation luncheons

Sunflower Market Weekly Flyer, advertising their consistently low prices on produce.

By Rebekah-Anne Gebler

SALT LAKE CITY—Equipped with energy drinks and sleeves of Hot Pockets©, many of today’s graduates are entering the real world unprepared.

With graduation only a week away, the students at the University of Utah would do well to learn about proper nutrition before tossing their caps.

“Their lifestyle now dictates their lifestyle in the future,” said Dr. Beverly Bradshaw, a registered dietician and a faculty member of the nutrition department at the U. of U.

Learning to eat healthy as a college student will allow you to teach your children good eating habits, said Bradshaw.

“Habits and routines don’t change that much once you leave college,” said Bradshaw.

If students understand how to manage their health, stress, and nutrition in college, they will be more successful when they graduate, said Bradshaw.

Bradshaw explained that every student at the university should take a nutrition class. Even the most basic ones at the U. give students the information they need to make healthy choices.

These classes also help students understand the “why” of choosing healthy foods. A nutrition class also explains how these foods function in one’s body.

“The digestion part of this is key,” said Bradshaw.

Food is the thing that determines if you have good or poor digestion. Digestion will dictate how good or bad you feel during the day.

“Portion control and selection of food is very critical,” said Bradshaw.

Packing lean protein, fruit, vegetables and/or complex carbohydrates helps students from giving in to the temptation of a vending machine.

Exercising regularly will also deliver positive results to students, both now and later in their lives.

Studies have shown that students who enroll in physical activities “have higher GPA’s, graduate at higher rates, and take more credit hours than those who don’t participate,” said Mary Bohlig, the Campus Recreation Services Director.

Ms. Bohlig discussed how scheduling daily exercise “reduces stress, improves sleep, and has a cause-effect on work production.”

Mary Ungricht, a piano performance graduate from the U., is currently enrolled in a Zumba class and has taken gymnastics and spinning in past semesters.

Even with her busy schedule, Ungricht felt the need to stay active as an undergraduate.

“College age is one of the most active and hopefully healthful times in life.  By eating better, you are taking the initiative to be healthy for life, not just for the moment,” said Ungricht.

Ungricht learned about nutrition content and portion control at a young age because she is a type-1 diabetic. Her awareness carried over to her life in college and as such, she is finishing her pre-requisites for the nutrition graduate program at the U.

Though many students may have awareness like Ungricht, they face the problems of preparation time and money issues when choosing to purchase healthy food.

It’s much faster—and falsely—cheaper to go to fast food restaurants or even heat up frozen meals instead of taking the time to prepare food by hand.

As students enter the last week of school, choosing between an apple and apple pie should not be a light decision. Making nutrition and exercise a priority now will not only assist students during college but in the many years to follow.

University program works to educate students on the importance of nutrition

By: Meisha Christensen

SALT LAKE CITY – Nutrition for many college students is a low priority especially during finals week according to the Union Programming Council (UPC).

In an effort to combat this, the UPC is providing students with a healthy breakfast on Wednesday, April 24 in the Union at the event Food for Finals.

The UPC is a program with seven student directors that work with the A. Ray Olpin Union to create a friendly home away from home environment for students.  Together these two boards plan activities and events geared toward helping students feel comfortable in The Union throughout their time at the U of U.

One board within the UPC is the Community Service board which has taken on the task of educating students about healthy nutrition in college.

When the To-Do lists get too long healthy eating can get pushed aside, and breakfast is often the first meal to take a hit.

Skipping breakfast has a negative effect on the body for multiple reasons.  One reason being that when breakfast is skipped the body goes into starvation mode and metabolism slows.  Another reason is that without fuel the brain has a more difficult time functioning and focusing.

The UPC provides Food for Finals at the end of every semester.  Heather McElroy is the UPC Director over Food for Finals and has enjoyed providing a free breakfast for students during finals week.

“Finding time for breakfast in the morning can often be a hassle, and we hope this event can take away that burden,” said McElroy.

Chartwells, a food supplier for schools, prepares the food for the event.  There are also items donated from Coke and Einstein Brothers.  The menu for this year’s event includes eggs, bacon, bagels, breakfast potatoes juice and coffee.  UPC anticipates feeding approximately 450 students this semester at Food for Finals.

In the past, the response to Food for Finals has been phenomenal; students eat it up, literally.

“It is such a neat idea because everyone is living at school during that week anyway so eating breakfast at school is convenient.  Also it makes you feel like the school does cares about you,” said Marie Davies a senior studying elementary education.

Alyx Williams is a member of the UPC Service Committee and is one of the directors working to help with student education on nutrition.  Students are busy and in the midst of everything the average university student is involved in, Williams noted that nutrition often gets pushed aside.

“A lot of students get used to eating poorly because it’s cheap and easy to make.  What students don’t realize is that eating Top Roman everyday is eventually going to have a really big toll on their body. I think it’s important for students to realize that it matters what they take into their body,” said Williams.

There may be many students who want to be healthy but feel that healthy eating habits require money and time.  Often the lack of appropriate knowledge on healthy meals that are available and how to prepare them is what keeps students from better nutrition.

This year the UPC started an innovations board on their website titled, Feed U Corner. Recipes are provided for meals that are simple to make as well as frugal friendly. Each week this board offers a different healthy meal option for students. Williams is the creator of this program and hopes to help students understand that healthy options are available.

“We’re trying to change the perception that it’s impossible to eat healthy unless you’re rich and have a lot of time on your hands,” said Williams.

Feed U Corner also literally feeds students for free once a month by showcasing recipes featured on the innovations board. This was the inaugural year of Feed U Corner and Williams felt that it was a good start but they still have many students to feed and educate.

To learn more about the UPC’s effort to increase awareness of nutrition on the U of U campus visit their website at