Melanie Arougueti/Staff Writer
College obesity has been rising in the past couple of years, but rather than blaming their university, students need to start making health-conscious decisions themselves.
To be clear, FIU doesn’t exactly help manage the growing obesity rate, even if it’s not to blame for our bad eating habits. Many students at the University, including myself, enjoy eating at FIU’s many dining options. However, many tend to overeat or turn towards the more unhealthy choices. This is not a problem if done occasionally, but eating Burger King and Panda Express multiple times a week can cause health complications.
Many are not aware of FIU’s Healthy Living Program, in which students can book free appointments with a dietician to better assist them when it comes to managing their weight, planning meals and more. FIU also has a registered dietitian, Gabriella Alfonso, who helps make sure they seek healthy options on campus.
67.4% of the adults in Miami-Dade County are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This is staggering.
“Don’t get up until you finish your plate,” and other mentalities of that nature have caused us to be overeaters. While being full of healthy nutrients is never deemed a “bad thing,” it’s questionable when we end up consuming an excess of food. This can be detrimental to one’s health.
Additionally, many freshmen begin their college journeys in fear of the “freshman fifteen,” or the trend that shows underclassmen gaining fifteen pounds in their first year. Buffets at college campuses allow students to serve themselves again and again without putting limits on what they are ingesting. Additionally, many universities are lined with fast food all around campus, tempting students to eat constantly throughout their day.
Rather than prepping a quick and healthy snack or lunch, students are left thinking that eating a nutritious meal is too difficult while living on campus, as other options appear faster and cheaper. This consumption of unnecessary food is what’s weighing our brains down. It’s very important to take care of our mental health, but our physical well-being is vital too. It makes it harder for people to be at their best when they are overeating.
FIU isn’t to be held accountable for the astonishing obesity numbers. In fact, FIU is recognized by the CDC as one of the leading institutions contributing to obesity prevention in the Miami-Dade County. Our University’s Healthy Living Program does a good job of providing examples to eat well, and it helps with mental health too. After all, a healthy body leads to better interaction in and out of the classroom.
Additionally, students are often required to do their own grocery shopping when living away from home. One solution students can try to better their eating habits is making new and positive changes like packing their own lunch and limiting their snacking throughout the day. Eating nutritiously doesn’t just mean shopping at the food and veggie aisle, but eating in moderation and putting limits on those doughnuts.
Overall, FIU is not responsible for its student’s obesity rates. However, FIU makes it one of its priorities to help its students and they do so in many ways. One is by offering health related programs. There’s a quote that states you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse drink. FIU can offer many different helpful guides, but FIU can’t force you to benefit from it. Only you can.
You can find FIU’s Healthy Living Program on Instagram @fiuhlp.
Featured photo by star5112 on Flickr.
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