Walking into the Dining Hall, the array of sugary foods that are on display can be hard to resist. The assortment of desserts that are available have any type of sweet someone is looking for. We have pastries, cake, pie, cupcakes, candy bars, soda, shakes, and much more. With all of these desserts, picking a healthier option is sometimes a challenge.
After talking with Maggie Sciortino ’18, English major, she told me her feelings about what is offered in our dining hall. “It’s not just the large quantities of unhealthy food, but the lack of healthy options.”
It is no shock that college students eat a lot of sugar. Sugary foods taste great and are usually cheaper than healthy food. And anyways, sugar can’t be that bad, right? Wrong! It has been recently discovered that sugar is a lot worse for people than we ever realized and Americans consume it at an alarming rate. According to the Obesity Society, the U.S. consumption of sugar has increased 30% over three decades. We are consuming more sugar than we ever have before.
Sugar can sometimes creep up on you. It is well known that sugar appears in sweet foods such as soda and candy but sugar appears in almost all our food. Obesity Society states, “But, insidiously they[sugar] also are found in pasta sauces and condiments, like ketchup and salad dressings.” Processed foods contain “added sugar” which means sugar that was added to a recipe or dish when being prepared. But fruits and vegetables also contain sugar. When we add the added sugar into our diet as well as the natural sugar, the amount of sugar that we consume can become out of hand.
Sugar not only is unhealthy and can lead to disease but also is a catalyst for bad performance in school. According to seattle pi, “One problem is that consuming a lot of sugary foods essentially fills up the body with empty calories, meaning that children who eat sugar are not eating enough healthy foods to give their brain and body the nutrients they need to function well.” By picking a sweet option rather than something healthy, the sugar in the students food is undermining their ability to do well in school.
Sciortino stated, “The lack of healthy food on campus can make people really exhausted because not eating healthy doesn’t give your body what it needs.”
At college, we are lucky enough to have choices about what we want to eat everyday. The endless options can be extremely exciting and fun when you begin attending school. The trick, however, is to not get sucked in by all of these sugary options. Your health and school performance can suffer when you give in to cravings too often.