More reasons than one to take nutrition class

By: Kelsey Megard Columnist

The only reason I signed up to take Survey of Nutrition is because it is a science class that does not require a lab and I HATE labs. It turns out that I loved the class and learned information that actually pertains to my life. Who would have thought a general class would actually teach me something?

Nutrition is a subject that is overlooked in our early education. Probably because school officials don’t want us to think too hard about what is actually in school food, but it is topic that needs to be more prominent in our society. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of Americans are obese — not overweight– obese. That is 34.9 percent, or 78.6 million, of Americans.

According to My Plate, the federal government’s new food icon to remind consumers to make healthier food choices, your plate should consist of half fruits and vegetables, a fourth protein and a fourth grains.

Most students do not think about filling up their plates with the appropriate nutrients. It usually comes down to what is cheapest and which line is shortest. Students should guage their meals on what is healthiest and will keep them full.

“In my humble opinion, we as a society have not been very successful at educating people in nutrition. Given that eating is the one thing we all must do to survive and all share in common regardless of who we are or where we’re from, I think it’s important that everyone understand the basics of good nutrition,” Shelly Brandenburger, a Survey of Nutrition instructor at SDSU said.

Survey of Nutrition teaches the fundamentals of nourishing the body properly and the role that food plays in meeting the nutritional requirements of individuals. Our campus dining offers some healthy options, but most do not meet all the nutritional requirements our bodies need. 

Grille Works offers lots of proteins and grains but no vegetables, unless you count deep fat fried potatoes (which we do not). The lettuce, tomato and onion on top of a burger does not qualify as a serving of vegetables.

These & Those Noodles is the same. The create your own pasta does allow you to add veggies and has an option for whole grain noodles but does not fit the requirements of My Plate.

Caliente may be my favorite place to eat on campus but, again, does not provide all the nutrition that you need. It is filled with grains, protein, and dairy but where is the vegetables and fruits?

Wraps & More is one of the few places in The Market to get a well-balanced meal. It provides students with the options of whole grains and vegetables. Salad Garden wins the My Plate requirements. The salad bar provides vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy. It is the one spot to get a well-balanced meal, although one of the more expensive places to eat.

Students are on a restricted budget and most do not have extra cash to get a side salad or an extra piece of fruit for each meal. How would a student who has never taken a nutrition class be expected to know that most meals they are provided are not meeting nutritional requirements?

“Over the years that I’ve taught a basic nutrition course (NFS221: Survey of Nutrition), many students have commented in their course evals or in person that they were so glad they took the course and felt that all college students should take that opportunity to learn about nutrition and eating,” Dr. Brandenburger said.