New Guidelines to Show Students' Healthier Diet
Overcoming fad diets is 2005's anti-smoking campaign
February 17, 2005 12:15 PM
Popular dietary plans, such as the low carbohydrate diet, sweep the nation like prevailing winds yet don't retain shelf life. In contrast, The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture together published, "Dietary Guidelines for Americans." The federal government made copies of the 70-page brochure available to the public on Feb. 4.
The guide provides advice about dietary habits to foster health and reduce risk of chronic disease. It
Proponents have praised the guidelines as the strongest recommendations to date. But critics charge
“The definition of food has been transformed by industry, yet the dietary guidelines don’t reflect that,” said Simon.
Brand names and fast food menu items dominate our food choices, she maintained.
“Imagine guidelines that said: ‘Stop eating Big Macs and Oreos’,” said Simon. “Those are recommendations Americans could understand but not ones we are likely to hear.”
Simon insisted it would threaten a $500 billion processed food industry that holds considerable
The guidelines cover all persons over two years old, explained Teresa Leu. Leu is a nutritionist who has worked at SF State Student Health Center for over twenty years. It must be broad so nutritionists can tailor it to those they advise she said.
Often maligned, dairy products are actually a nutrient packed food said Leu. She recommends three servings a day of a non- or low-fat dairy product. And she added that any dairy product made from skim milk has low saturated fat and cholesterol.
Leu went on to stress the importance of eating a breakfast. A person who has been sleeping for eight
“It is not uncommon for college students to skip breakfast, eat an energy bar for lunch and then wait
She recommends eating every four hours. That way you won’t risk overeating. She favors the use of lean proteins such as turkey, chicken, lentils, beans, yogurt and cottage cheese. Also whole grains, fruits and vegetables are good with every meal, she stressed.
Leu is a certified dietician and is available for one-on-one counseling. She holds office hours from 8
Alarming as student indifference toward a balanced diet can be, some SF State students who are parents fear more for their children. Patrick Mattimore is a former South San Francisco High School history instructor who also taught health and physical education. He is now enrolled in SF State’s Elder
He is also the father of high school and college-aged students. He became concerned about childhood obesity late last year when the California Department of Education disclosed that three-quarters of middle school students flunked the state’s physical fitness test.
He insisted snack food companies have a responsibility to the public, since they are dispensed at public schools throughout the country.
“McDonald’s makes salads,” he said. “They don’t have to promote Big Mac’s. You offer healthy foods in the vending machines. You put in fruit juices instead of soda pop. There are some logical kinds of changes they can make that make for a healthier diet at school.”
Growing up, Mattimore maintained he always played sports in the afternoons. With both parents often
Recognizing the prevalence of junk food in American culture, Mattimore advocates making nutritional
“Kids need to be taught about what healthy eating is at an early age," he said. "If their parents are going to insist on buying fast food, maybe it’s up to the kids to educate their parents. When they go to the market, they say look, ‘this is what we learned in school, this is what you should be doing.’”
For students watching their diet, they have a friend in Abdu Hassani. He is the manager of the Gold Coast Grill in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Hassani has changed purveyors that supply his meat products to Niman Ranch. With offices in Oakland and ranches across the country, they rely upon only free-range livestock. Hassani has noticed that since he has started using Niman, there is a lot less grease from cooking and said people love it.
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