Within the last year, a new tool for healthier living has become available to students and faculty at Quinnipiac University – a tool that many do not even know about.
Rebecca Purcell, a professor of SCI 161 Nutrition: An Investigative Experience, as well as a certified dietitian under the Commission on Dietetic Registration, has been holding open nutrition seminars in Tator Hall for the past few semesters.
No matter what’s on your plate, Purcell’s lessons on better eating are open for all to hear in SC 225 at noon on Oct. 20, “Smoothie 101” and Nov. 17, “Holiday Survival” – the final two seminars of the fall semester.
Her intent, she says is to educate the community on healthy eating. She tries to focus on a different topic each month.
While she provides a wide variety of information on personal health to all, Purcell says she feels nutrition is already something that is valued highly on campus.
“I think that today’s college student is very aware of the importance of good nutrition and fitness, especially here at QU,” Purcell said.
Students who eat healthy in college lower their risk of diseases like heart disease and diabetes, she said.
“Also, if students are eating a healthy diet and getting the recommended nutrients, it will be easier to focus on school work and get better grades,” Purcell said.
Sophomore Physician Assistant Major Kyle Liang said he may be interested in attending one of the nutrition seminars.
“I’ll be honest, I ate very healthy at home,” Liang said. “But [a nutrition seminar] sounds like a good idea… If college students don’t learn how to make the right choices with their eating habits now, they may never.”
Purcell also offers advice in maintaining a healthy college experience, including ways to escape from the infamous “Freshman 15.”
“The ‘Freshman 15’ can be avoided with a little motivation to be physically active and eat a well balanced diet everyday,” Purcell said. “Don’t skip meals, don’t eliminate any major food group and make snacks a healthy choice (especially the late night snack.)”
Students should focus on getting adequate calories through fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, she said.
Liang agrees Quinnipiac, like many colleges, has students who make healthy choices and others who do not.
“What I’ve noticed in the cafeteria is that the students of QU, for the most part, do seem to care about what they eat,” Liang said. “But you will see, the kid who gets to the register to pay for a waffle with a scoop of ice cream on top and a large cup of Mountain Dew at 10 a.m..”