Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Workshopping nutrition wellness

Avery Thorpe

A large part of independence is learning to maintain your health. As students, optimal nutritional care is vital to staying focused during late-night study sessions, long lectures and blazing hot walks across campus. 

For many, entering college is a time of weight fluctuation, difficulty finding consistency with food habits and the infamous “freshman 15.” Often, the reason for weight gain, weight loss or appetite variation is that many students don’t know how to choose nutritious food options. The buffet-style setup in the dining halls and the multitude of options in a grocery store can make you feel like a kid in a candy shop. 

In college, there isn’t someone to look over your shoulder to tell you what to eat and what not to eat. However, students should take advantage of University Health Services (UHS) resources to guide them in the right direction, including nutrition workshops, counseling and meetings with dietitians. 

“The nutrition workshops, that’s going to be more of a didactic learning type experience,” said Jennifer Barnoud, a registered dietitian at UHS. “So, we are offering workshops on some of the more common issues that our students are facing when it comes to their nutrition and food-related health concerns. That’s meant to be a space to dip your toe in the water or get some general education.”

The nutrition services from UHS utilize a general approach that prioritizes students’ health. They aim to provide an inclusive environment for anyone interested in improving their nutrition, paying careful attention to avoid discrimination based on factors like weight, health status or diet approach. 

“We are going to be presenting information in a more objective and non-judgmental way,” Barnoud said.

 Students often overlook the facilities UT offers for student health. However, they should take advantage of these opportunities and start building healthy food habits as early as possible. Daily water and vitamin consumption and quantity of food intake can significantly influence health as we grow older, helping eliminate age-related health issues. 

While falling into the trap of taking advice from online influencers and internet fads can be easy, UHS dietitians help ensure that the information students receive comes from a credible source.  

“TikTok and YouTube videos are basically spreading out weird information every now and then,” nutrition sophomore Sez Park said. “It will be helpful in the right hands.”

Nutrition services are “kind of just getting away from all the noise, really understanding what it is that folks need to do to take care of their bodies,” Barnoud said.

Participating in nutrition workshops or signing up for counseling with dieticians is a great way for students to understand what strategies work best for their bodies. Good nutrition can affect many facets of your life, from inner wellness to performance in school. Consider giving nutrition workshops a try. 

Shenoy is an economics sophomore from Houston, Texas.

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