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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Healthy food available but more costly

    Cole Wellendorf, a media arts junior, fashions himself a leafy meal at the Cactus Grill salad bar yesterday afternoon.
    Cole Wellendorf, a media arts junior, fashions himself a leafy meal at the Cactus Grill salad bar yesterday afternoon.

    Students trying to eat healthy must first break their diet patterns, which is often difficult to do, said a UA nutritional counselor.

    Although healthy options are available to students on campus, they are not utilized because students have trouble straying away from habit, said Gale Welter, a nutritional counselor for Campus Health Service.

    Often times, students will eat what is “”in front of their face,”” said Welter.

    Fast food is common on the first floor, but students may not choose the healthiest options, Welter said.

    “”More people will eat Big Mac and combo instead of a chicken sandwich,”” Welter said. “”Upstairs there’s a lot more lower-fat, lower-sugar choices, but people don’t always go that far. …Habit plays a big part in what students choose.””

    Welter said another difficulty in eating healthy may be price.

    While restaurants such as McDonald’s offer menu items ranging from $0.99 to full meals at $4.00, more health-conscious menus such

    It’s hard to beat the cheap burgers, but if you are what you eat, most people are fast, cheap and easy.

    – Gale Welter,
    Campus Health Service

    nutritional counseloras IQ Fresh have wraps from $4.25 to $5.50 without any side items or drinks.

    But the UA does not purposely price healthier food as more expensive, Welter said.

    “”(Healthy food) such as IQ and salad bars are more processed than cheaper food,”” Welter said. “”You can’t dilute whole foods to make them cheaper, so they’re not as mass produced. The nutrition you get from the cheaper food is significantly less than healthier food.””

    Salad bars are found on campus at the Cactus Grill and the Park Student Union, where the salad and vegetables cost $4.79 a pound.

    Rachael Blaire, an undeclared freshman, said this is too much money for not enough food.

    “”I don’t think there’s enough salad options,”” Blaire said. “”Even when I do find it, it’s not good salad. It’s really expensive. It just isn’t the highest quality.””

    While some students said they are upset because of the price, Blaire said she has trouble finding healthy options.

    “”It seems like all the food (on campus) is fast food,”” said Blaire. “”The stuff that isn’t fast food takes an hour to come out.””

    But Welter said students have control of how healthy they eat.

    On Deck Deli has many healthy options, which are healthier than the non-fried food at Panda Express, Welter said.

    Another factor in health is portion control, Welter said.

    “”A bagel is relatively healthy, but it’s like four slices of bread,”” Welter said. “”If you eat more than one, that’s more than a complete meal right there.””

    As far as health options go, Welter said the Cactus Grill may be students’ best bet.

    “”The (Cactus) Grill has so much to offer,”” Welter said. “”The salad bar and fruit bar are probably the best you can get.””

    Carolyn Basalla, an international studies freshman, said college students don’t care about the quality of the food they eat, especially since they are pressed for time and search for convenience.

    “”Fast food tastes good, fills them up, and is quick, easy, and inexpensive,”” Basalla said.

    To offer students healthier, organic food, a new farmer’s market will be held every Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the UA Mall. The market was organized by Campus Health.

    Students are able to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, along with foods that are not elsewhere available on campus, Welter said.

    Still, Basalla said she believes the school is aware some students will demand health food, so it charges more for healthy eating.

    “”There aren’t very many healthy places to eat, so they know they have us cornered,”” Basalla said. “”They can charge us way more than is necessary.””

    But Welter said until students change their eating habits, they will be unable to appreciate the full amount of healthy alternatives on campus.

    “”You can mix or match or try to eat healthier foods on the side,”” Welter said. “”There are ways to work around it. It’s hard to beat the cheap burgers, but if you are what you eat, most people are fast, cheap and easy.””

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