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Campus Life + Health & Wellness

Health Matters: Eating Right

Sargent’s Nutrition and Fitness Center can help you make smart food decisions

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Stacey Zawacki, the director of the Nutrition and Fitness Center at Sargent College. Photo by Vernon Doucette

It’s easy for college students to fall into the trap of bad food choices — say, Lucky Charms for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or even skipping meals when time and money are tight. But unhealthy eating habits are harmful in the long run and make maintaining a healthy weight and feeling energized difficult. March is National Nutrition Month and to celebrate, BU dietitians recommend that you take a few minutes to evaluate your nutrition habits.

The Nutrition and Fitness Center (NFC) at Sargent College offers a variety of nutrition services and helpful tips on how to eat right, including consultations with registered dietitians, food and nutrition experts who understand the science behind nutrition. Every student is entitled to one free “healthy meal planning session” at the NFC.

There are several good reasons for seeing a registered dietician: first, he or she can help if you have suffered or are currently suffering from an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia. If you need to gain weight or to lose weight, a registered dietician can set up an eating and exercise regimen. Plus, a dietitian can help you sort through confusing information at the grocery store, teach you how to read nutrition labels, and help you perform better in sports by suggesting foods that are high in proteins and other vitamins.

“Students often tell us that they just want to know what they should be eating,” says Stacey Zawacki, the NFC director. “In a healthy meal planning session, we help them calculate their individual needs based on their height, weight, gender, age, and activity level and develop a realistic meal plan to meet their needs.” The NFC also offers low-cost group classes for students; topics include healthy dieting, vegetarian nutrition, and sports nutrition.

“For students, proper nutrition is challenging because they’re on their own and they’re trying to navigate with a lot of overwhelming choices — between the dining hall options and the retail options and the social pressures, food is involved in almost everything,” Zawacki says. “Students find it reassuring to learn that with a little help they can meet their needs with foods they love in situations they enjoy.”

For more information, call the Nutrition and Fitness Center at 617-353-2721 or visit www.bu.edu/nfc.

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

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