Written by Tresia Bowles, Staff Writer
There is more pressure now than ever to live healthy lifestyle in America. The obesity rates in America are at an all-time high and Georgia in particular is number 20 on that list. Everyone from Beyonce to Michelle Obama has advocated for healthy living and exercise. But as a college student, it’s very hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat the right foods if those things aren’t available to you on campus. There are many people at VSU with different dietary needs, but does VSU do enough to cater to these different groups of people?
One type of diet is the pescatarian diet which refers to people who refrain from eating any meat besides fish. Olivia White, a dance major and pescatarian, acknowledges that it can be difficult to eat the right things when you live on campus.
“Sometimes it’s really frustrating trying to eat a balanced meal here. I’ve had to become more cautious about eating in the dining halls, because sometimes the employees don’t know if things have meat in them or not or they’ll mix up my order,” said White. “It’s even harder on the weekends, because a lot of the options that offer me a variety aren’t open.”
White says that when she can’t find anything on campus, sometimes she has to buy food off campus or sacrifice a healthy meal altogether in order to satisfy her hunger.
Another type of diet is a vegetarian diet which consists of mostly vegetables and may or may not contain animal products like milk or eggs.
“Most places have vegetarian options. If you’re willing to try new things you’ll be fine. The only place on campus that’s not really veggie-friendly is Chick-fil-a and the other restaurants all have meatless options. Even the dining halls have options,” said VSU student, Adrienne Seldon.
Seldon said that Barberitos, Mellow Mushroom, Subway, and El Cazador are also good off- campus options for vegetarian’s that aren’t extremely expensive.
There are also vegans who don’t consume or use any type of animal product. Vegan student Shelby Grieshober, doesn’t live on campus, and the only time that she comes into contact with on-campus eating establishments is when she is near the nursing building which has Einstein’s, and they do not offer any vegan options.
“I usually pack snacks or bring my lunch. I love going to Farmer Brown’s for fresh fruit and vegetables, and it’s very affordable. I also shop at Publix,” said Grieshober.
So does Valdosta provide enough of a variety of diet options? Maybe for vegetarians, but others are a little left out. VSU certainly can’t please everyone, but the campus should be mindful of the state that our country is in as far as obesity and healthy living goes. It is important to have a balanced diet regardless of your dietary preferences, and VSU should be more mindful of that also.
While the food options offered on campus are left in the hands of VSU dining, students should remember that exercise plays a big part in a person’s health as well. So it is important to try to maintain a regular exercise routine in order to stay fit on campus.