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view from the top : Numerous trails of Mount Naomi lead through some of the most spectacular alpine scenery found in the intermountain west./ Photo by Melissa Kamis
Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

"The First Amendment gives everyone -- including nuts -- free speech,
but free speech has a purpose: that the people may judge for themselves
and bury the nuts with indignation. We fail our founding fathers if we
let blowhards rage on talk radio, in little magazines and in nasty
books without delivering counterattacks.

   -- Barron's, Aug. 9, 2004 (Thanks to alert WORDster John Mollwitz)

Fair gets college studens thinking about health

By Jacob Moon

March 30, 2004 | Seniors and juniors in Utah State University's dietetics program got a taste of their future careers Friday while they gave everyone else a taste of healthy living.

The Health and Nutrition Expo, Friday in the Taggart Student Center Sunburst Lounge, focused on simple things college students can do to live healthy lives. The health fair is held every year to give majors a chance to practice what they have learned at USU, while informing the public about health and nutrition.

"We feel the biggest benefit of the health fair is what it teaches everyone about good, healthy nutrition," said Tammy Vitale, a clinical assistant professor in the nutrition and food sciences department.

Vitale teaches the Advanced Dietetics Practicum in which students such as Kara Richey spend 70 hours preparing group projects to display at the health fair. Richey's group focused on fad diets like Atkin's and South Beach, which encourage weight-loss hopefuls to steer clear of carbohydrates.

"I went into it being very anti-fad diets, but became more positive about the issue at the end," Richey said.

While Richey still believes fad diets aren't the best answer to weight loss, she feels that some of the them do promote certain aspects of healthy living.

"A big problem is the [weight-loss] industry and the media, because they advertise and play up the benefits to get people hooked," she said.

Richey's goal is to work in preventative care. She says by teaching people simple, healthy habits like not eating after they are full, eating a balanced diet, and drinking a lot of water, she hopes to get them away from fad diets, which in turn, could prevent many different eating disorders.

Twelve other seniors in the class worked on similar booths for the fair, ranging from healthy pregnancies to eating smart as a college student.

One display illustrated the amount of sugar in fountain drinks and fat in various sizes of french fries by using bags of sugar and small cups of shortening. The point was clearly made that the what college students tend to eat is unhealthy.

"Instead of simply telling people they need to eat better, we say, 'This is how you can increase fruits and vegetables and in your diet,'" said Erin Inlet a senior in the program. She gave an example of popcorn as a healthy snack because it provides a lot of dietary fiber, an important aspect because it prevents colon cancer.

"Our goal is to make [healthy living] easy," she said.

Along with the 12 seniors and 23 juniors who organized the expo, professionals from the area were invited to attend and share their knowledge.

The produce manager at Lee's Marketplace, Leigh Vaughn gave demonstrations on cutting pineapple and preparing healthy, smoothie drinks.

"Come try this smoothie," he told a group. "After you are done, I'll tell you what's in it. If I tell you now, you might not want to try it."

Among frozen fruits and juice, Vaughn told the group he had added tofu for protein. The students agreed that the drink was good and they couldn't even taste the tofu.

Vaughn says he has the most exciting department in the store because it is constantly changing and because it has all the healthy food.

"There are so many items in my department that nobody even knows what they heck they are," he said.

Vitale said she was pleased with the way the whole event turned out, especially because so many people attended. Last year, she said more than 1,500 people came to see the booths and demonstrations, and this year she expects even more.

"I'm so proud of [the students] today," she said. "Their creativity never ceases to amaze me."


Copyright 1997-2004 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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