The Daily Aztec

Students must adopt a better diet for a healthier life

by Caitlin Johnson

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Another semester has begun and if you’re like me, you’re already swamped with assignments, readings, work and everything else that goes with it. Perhaps you also spend a full day on campus, leaving little-to-no time to sit down and have a decent meal.

With so much on our plates (no pun intended), it is difficult to maintain a healthy diet while bal- ancing school and work. It’s no secret unhealthy meal plans are contributing to the increasing trend of health problems in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese. Add our increasingly sedentary lifestyle and it’s no wonder this trend is worsening.

However, I’m a firm believer in the human ability to change and adapt. A little hard work and a lot of discipline may be all it takes to turn this around. It isn’t impossible—difficult, yes, but not impossible—to accommodate a healthy lifestyle. And it isn’t just about losing weight. While it may be your primary goal in the fight to get healthier, weight loss shouldn’t be the only factor you think about. Certain diets allow the human body to drop weight quickly, but keeping it off is the hard part. We have to be more aware of what we eat. You can exercise all you want, but complementing your hard work with a diet filled with fattening foods but without proteins and vegetables won’t help in the long run.

What can we do to change this? How can you adhere to the promises you made when fast food is the only option during a busy day? There is nothing wrong with stopping for a quick bite to eat. But start looking at the healthier options your favorite restaurant has to offer. I promise you, they are there. In recent years, eating healthy has become a trend companies are marketing to students.

Companies see we are making changes to our life-styles and they are trying to adapt. I guarantee no matter where you find yourself during those 10 minutes of free time you will find something much more sustainable for your long-term health.

Take the Rubios we have on campus, for example. I dare you to try the entrée-sized Balsamic and Roasted Veggie Salad with chicken. It’s really good. The best part is the entire plate has only 310 calories (with dressing) and is loaded with 20 grams of protein and seven grams of fiber. It’s like the super-hero of fast-food salads because it packs so much protein, you’ll stayfull longer, enabling you to actually pay attention in class. Plenty of other restaurants also offer healthy op- tions. Next time you go to In-N-Out Burger try a protein style burger – they’ll know what you mean. Read the menu and make a smart choice. If you can’t find something, ask.

There are no excuses. Nutritional guides are accessible anywhere, even on your smartphone (I know you have one). To anyone saying “I don’t have time,” or “It’s not worth it,” quit lying to yourself. It isn’t about how we look as a society, or how others in our society look at us. It’s about taking the first step toward personal health and well- being. Who doesn’t want to live a long and fulfilling life? When making a change is so manageable, why wouldn’t you? It’s time for us to turn this around. Humanity has survived much worse than this and I know we can do it again.

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5 Responses to “Students must adopt a better diet for a healthier life”

  1. Tanya Dracolakis on September 5th, 2012 12:06 pm


    • The hyphen is sometimes used after a prefix ending in a vowel when the prefix is followed by the same vowel. This use is becoming less common, however, and the hyphen may be omitted in words that are used frequently and are readily recognized without it.
    Reelect reenter preeminent reevaluate cooperate
    Coordinate anti-intellectual pro-oleomargarine

    • Use the hyphen to distinguish the meaning of different words that are spelled the same way.
    Recover re-cover resent re-sent

    • Use the hyphen to separate a prefix from a proper noun.
    un-American anti-French pro-Negro
    Exception: transatlantic

    • Use the hyphen for clarity in compound modifiers.
    6-foot shark family-owned business purple-faced tycoon

    • DO NOT use the hyphen when not necessary.
    statewide vice president sergeant at arms weekend

    • DO NOT use the hyphen with adverbs ending in –ly.
    newly elected badly damaged recently named

    • Suspensive hyphenation:
    He received a 10- to 20-year prison sentence.
    The 5- and 6-year-olds attend morning classes.

  2. Kenneth on September 5th, 2012 1:06 pm

    The Hyphen Queen has spoken!

    As we just heard from the H.Q., the hyphen is “sometimes” used for certain purposes, and “may” be omitted in words readily recognized without it. Pretty much all of the info posted by the H.Q. was accurate, but if one consults the AP Stylebook (2012), one finds the following nugget of guidance:

    “Hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words. Use of the hyphen is far from standardized. It is optional in most cases, a matter of taste, judgment and style sense.” (Source: AP Stylebook, Punctuation section)

    So, fear not, opinion columnist! Your stylistic use of the hyphen was totally within the acceptable boundaries of AP style, so rock on with your bad self!

    You know, it really grinds my gears when a writer or editor would publicly correct a fellow wordsmith. If someone takes issue at a writer’s hyphen usage, why not send an e-mail (hope that hyphen was okay with you, H.Q.) to the section editor, with a friendly reminder about careful punctuation? Why would someone leave a lengthy (and ultimately inaccurate) comment out in the open like that?

  3. Beth Elderkin on September 6th, 2012 8:44 am

    I completely agree with you, Kenneth.
    Tanya, from one former DA managing editor to another, you really should show more respect for your fellow DA staffers. Posting a lengthy comment about one tiny section in an opinion column that has little-to-no impact on the column’s content or intent doesn’t help — it only harms.
    If you wanted to help out or mentor a fellow staffer, which I highly encourage, you could’ve sent a positive email to the column’s author, expressing your opinion and encouraging her to improve her writing based on what you consider to be proper grammar and AP style. Instead, you humiliated a contributor on her first column, which is (in my opinion) immature and disrespectful.
    Caitlin, I applaud your starting efforts at The Daily Aztec, and wish you nothing but success in your future columns.

  4. Caitlin J. on September 6th, 2012 3:52 pm

    First of all, I would like to say thank you (or is it thank-you?) so much for reading my first contribution to the Daily Aztec! It means a lot to me that I already have people reading my work so closely.

    I appreciate and welcome all critiques, Tanya. You have been quite informative, and I learned a bit about hyphens! Ironically, the article I wrote that was originally sent to the editors did not contain those hyphens–they were added later. So Kenneth, I’m afraid the “bad self” you are referring to is not me, but I’ll still accept the compliment, if you don’t mind!

    Again, thank you so much for commenting! It is always nice to know when people are interested in the topic I am writing about.


  5. Lauren on September 10th, 2012 10:26 am

    I think this article is well written and has style! Keep-up-the-good-work Caitlin Johnson!

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