Students force-fed greasy meals
November 17, 2006
The food we are served on campus is as unhealthy as McDonald’s. After comparing the calories of five core items that both Freddy’s and McDonald’s serve, I found that Chartwells-run Freddy’s is just as lethal as the fast food giant.
Almost all of the eateries on campus are run by Chartwells, which means the nutrition information applies to almost all venues on campus.
Depending on weight and physical activity, men should consume between 1,500 and 2,800 calories a day. Women should consume much fewer, between 1,200 and 2,000 calories a day.
All freshmen and sophomores are required to have a meal plan if they live on campus. At Freddy’s, the transfer equivalent is usually a quarter-pound cheeseburger, 4-ounce fries, and milk or soda. The cheese- burger and fries total at 810 calories.
For many women and men, that is more than half of their caloric intake for the day -- in just one meal!
Many students end up eating this or something very similar every day, sometimes for lunch and dinner.
These numbers are almost as bad as if we were to eat at McDonald’s, where the two items would equal 890 calories. We might as well have a McDonald's on campus, at least the food there is cheaper.
A couple other items that both Freddy’s and McDonald's serve include a breaded chicken sandwich and a fish sandwich. The McChicken has 370 calories while the breaded chicken sandwich has 450 calories. The Filet-o-Fish at McDonald's has 400 calories while at Freddy’s it has 330.
When our parents went to college, it was normal for a freshman to gain the “Freshman 10,” although these days it is more often the “Freshman 15” or even the “Freshman 30.” When I was a freshman here I gained about 15 pounds in nine months. This was because I was forced to eat on campus since I was required to have a meal plan. I tried to make healthy choices when I went to Rodli and Freddy’s, but it isn’t easy to do. Sure, once in a while they have stir fry for dinner, which is rather nutritious, but most days the only healthy thing offered was a salad bar. I tried that a few times but it never filled me up, and a few hours later I’d be sitting in class wishing I’d had a bowl of pasta or a slice of pizza.
Oh, and the dessert cart! Many freshmen are overwhelmed and excited about the dessert cart, but we need to remember to think about how many calories are in each of those tempting desserts.
By the end of my sophomore year I had gained a total of 20 pounds while being required to live and dine on campus.
Once I moved off campus, I stopped eating all the greasy food since I was no longer required to, and within two months I had dropped 10 pounds.
My suggestion for students, especially freshmen and sophomores, is if you want to see changes to the menu, start getting people together and change it. There has got to be a way we can make this campus healthier.
Nicole Aune is a student at UW-River Falls.