With the University’s involvement in the development of a new app for Geisinger Health System, it seems that students and the school should be more in tune to our nutritional needs. We’re so excited about the healthier options available nearby, with a Subway on Market St. and Wendy’s and McDonald’s offering lower calories choices. We aren’t so thrilled about the dining on campus.

Over the last couple of years, Dining Services has done a fantastic job of improving the campus food experience by posting nutritional information, but we find it’s still lacking. While specialty items from The Daily Dish and other stations have the caloric count and other facts posted, the standard items’ information isn’t as readily available.

At the Mexican station and the Bison Grill, any of the standard menu items do not have the information posted in an easily accessible location. Even made-to-go items don’t always provide good nutritional information. On a recent inspection of a Dirt Pudding cup, we saw the following: Calories – 937, Fat – 53g, Sugars g. The actual number of grams of sugar was non-existent on the label. Even when the information is provided, it’s somehow still incomplete.

As for the wrap and sandwich stations, it would appear that the caloric count for your meal would be easy to calculate, but it’s not. The postings give a breakdown of information for different a la carte options based on the weight of the item on your sandwich. However, the staff rarely uses a scale to measure out turkey or other items, meaning your calorie estimation could be way off base. Even when they do weigh items, students aren’t made aware of the totals.

We, as students, need to be responsible for ourselves and the decisions we make about the food we eat. Dining Services and the University need to be responsible for providing us with the options and information to make good, informed decisions.

Last week, we printed an article about the “freshman 15” and finding a way to balance a healthy lifestyle. The University offers group fitness classes at no extra cost to students, but for some reason, the ice cream freezer in the Terrace Room is more popular than any of the classes. We need to not only be monitoring how much and what we eat, but also what physical activity we’re participating in. Between the options at the KLARC and the many different club and intramural sports teams, there’s no reason we can’t find that balance.

Let this be a wake up call to all of campus: we are responsible for the decisions we make regarding our health. We have to take action and be conscious of what we’re putting in our bodies and how we’re taking care of ourselves.

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