Campus Dining Services (CDS) at SUNY Stony Brook University has launched aneating-right initiative program to encourage healthy eating. CDS will highlightthe nutritious choices already available, add new healthy meals and cut outunnecessary fats and oils from the cuisine at campus food establishments.

Most college students don’t make the right food choices–it’s not necessarilybecause they don’t care. Many students don’t know any better.

‘Most students will take the burger with fries over the salad,’ saidLisa Ospatali, CDS director of Marketing.

Based on USDA guidelines, Campus Dining Services has designed a program tobe used in all campus dining establishments. The plan encourages students to1) limit fat to 30% of total calories 2) limit saturated fat to 10% of totalfat 3) limit cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day 4) keep sodium intake below400 milligrams per day. These figures are average recommendations.

‘Everyone is structured differently and active in different ways,’said Elyse Slavin, SUNY Stony Brook’s certified Nutritionist. ‘Everyonerequires a different intake.’

All healthy products and meals will be designated by a logo. CDS is conductinga logo contest, open to all students. The official winner of the contest willbe notified in late April. The logo will appear all over meal halls and on foodpackages in the form of a sticker, and is intended to help students to quicklyidentify healthy food choices.

‘We want to provide students with the necessary tools and informationso they can eat better and be more aware,’ Slavin said. ‘CDS willhave something healthy in every meal hall.’

She added that individual and group counseling is available, free of charge,to teach students to make healthy choices. The counseling will target freshmen,as first year college students are at the highest risk for weight gain, hencethe popular term ‘freshman fifteen’.

‘It was more like 25,’ said Inna Vinocurov, a 22-year-old senior,put on some extra weight during her first semester of college. ‘When Icame to Stony Brook there was so much food. I would eat more than three mealsa day.’

Separation anxiety can lead students to select unhealthy comfort foods. Also,students are simply overwhelmed by the vast choices presented to them at thedining hall and want to try everything.

‘Students have more access to things they didn’t have at home and sometimesthey take advantage,’ Slavin said. ‘It’s very hard to pick and choosecorrectly.’

But, she added, as they become more acquainted with their surroundings, theyadjust to the food establishments and make better choices.

‘I wish they had [the program] when I was here,’ said former studentHilary Vidair. ‘I think students should take advantage of this opportunitybecause they should know more about what they’re eating.’

Campus Dining Services is going to test-out the healthy eating initiative.If the trial run is a success, the program will be put into action this fall.At upcoming ‘Wellness Wednesdays,’ students can try healthy foodsat demonstrations at the Chef’s Kitchen in Kelly Dining Hall.

‘We want to get out the idea of eating healthy – where students can findit,’ said Brian Libfeld, Marketing assistant. ‘The goal should befeeling better, not losing weight. Most often this is confused.’