EWU Dining Services focuses on nutrition

Installation of module will make nutritional data readily available

By: Frank McNeilly


 Charts from Trust for America’s Health 

Does nutrition play a role in obesity?

When I think about food and obesity, two things come to mind: portion sizes and nutrition facts.

According to a study from Trust for America’s Health, the 2011 obesity rates for Washington state were 26.5%.

The study said that if the pattern continues, Washington state’s obesity rate would be 55.5% by 2030. If Washington state’s BMI was reduced 5% from the projected path by 2030, the percentage of obesity would be 49.1%.

One of the recommendations from Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report on obesity is to update nutritional standards for snack foods and beverages in elementary and secondary schools.

Eastern Washington University Dining Services is in the process of providing nutritional data with the food that they serve.

Currently, there is not a nutritionist employed with EWU’s Dining Services or EWU’s Health and Wellness, according to Dave McKay, director of Dining Services.

McKay said that dining services is working on the installation of a nutritional database that would be able to find nutritional facts for a large variety of foods, and have the ability to enter recipes in to calculate nutritional value.

“We don’t have a nutritionist on staff on dining or in health and wellness,” McKay said. “One of the things I think this university lacks for good dining is … a module … would allow us to access anything that we purchase [by] UPC code … will be in the FDA database.”

Installation of the system will begin in May and will be used during fall quarter 2013, according to McKay.

McKay said that there is more of a focus on balance and portion sizes since a nutritional change came from the FDA.

“A couple of years ago the FDA changed from the infamous pyramid … to the ‘my plate,’” McKay said. “It broke out a difference of more of a balance. Previously, grains held such a huge direction.”

There has been student interest in seeing bullet points of meal items that dining service serves including calories, fat and sodium, according to McKay.

“Nutrition, as you find it from ice cream to spinach, all of those things are okay for you [but] it’s how much of it,” McKay said.



Trust for America’s Health: http://tfah.org/report/100/

The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/09/18/over-next-two-decades-obesity-could-cost-us-550-billion/


Review: Really? Timing of Meals Affects Weight Loss

A New York Times blog from February 4 raises the question of a difference of weight loss based on the time that you eat lunch.I embedded the link at the bottom of the page.

According to the study in the blog, the results were that the group of people that ate lunch before 3 p.m. lost more weight than those that ate lunch after 3 p.m.

“But there was a critical difference in the timing of their main meal of the day, which in this case, because of the Mediterranean setting, was lunch. In both groups, the meal comprised about 40 percent of their daily calories. But one group consistently ate it before 3 p.m. daily, while the other did so after 3 p.m. By the end of the study, despite similar caloric intakes, the late eaters had lost significantly less weight. They also showed lower insulin sensitivity, which increases the risk of diabetes.”

My analysis: To me it makes sense that the group that ate lunch before 3 p.m. lost more weight because they have more time to burn off the calories that they ate for lunch. I am not a late eater; sometimes I eat lunch before noon because I don’t have a large breakfast. If I were to eat lunch after 3 p.m. and dinner a few hours later, there would be two meals worth of calories to burn off.

To add to that, I workout in the mornings, not in the evenings. During a normal day, I always take the stairs and I walk everywhere while I am on campus. Eating lunch before 3 p.m. allows me to rejuvenate and re-energize, so I can then burn off some of the calories from lunch by just ascending and descending three flights of stairs a few times a day and walking across campus to class.

“The timing of your meals may not be everything when it comes to weight loss, but it does appear to play a role.” When thinking about weight loss, the timing of meals is one of the last things that comes to my mind. But I agree with the blog in that timing of meals does play a role. The ideal time to eat is before you burn calories, not after.





Six pounds lost after one month

Experiment continues to challenge

By: Frank McNeilly

One month ago, I started drinking Equate Weight Loss Shakes from Wal-Mart and began keeping track of what I ate and when I exercised using My Fitness Pal.

In 29 days I have lost six pounds.

For me, six pounds is a big number. Weight loss has never been consistent with me. Then again, I have never been consistent with eating healthy, exercising or keeping track of what I eat.

The shakes help me out because they allow me to spread out my lunch over a large portion of the day. I still have a granola bar in the morning, a shake at noon and fruit, usually a banana, for the entire afternoon.

Digesting those three items over an afternoon eliminates my snack cravings, and only costs me 435 calories from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

During the last month, my workout time has been limited. However, I do a lot of walking traveling to classes and always taking the stairs to work, (it helps when the elevator is really slow).

There were a few days during the month, usually a Sunday, where I would go a little crazy with chocolate or cookies. But the few indulgences did not affect my progress because they only happened once a week at the most and I never indulged for two straight days.

I’m excited to continue this weight loss method a try and see where I am at the end of March.

EWU offers healthy campus dining options

Healthy food trial includes Mediterranean dinner and selling fresh produce

By: Frank McNeilly

Eating healthy is a battle that the Eastern community fights during the winter.

Dining Services is testing offering healthy options for Eastern for planned spring quarter events.

Tawanka Main Street Dining served a Mediterranean style dinner on March 6.

“The Mediterranean diet in general … using olive oils … has a lower heart disease rate, lower obesity problems,” Dave McKay, director of EWU Dining Services, said. “I think it is a great thing for people to be exposed to [and] incorporate into their diet.”

The Mediterranean dinner at Tawanka was a test run for EWU’s diversity week in May to see what kind of recipes would be used, according to McKay.

“During this time of year we find that students get … in a little bit of a rut,” he said. “It is real easy to start to … go to the pastas and the comfort foods. “

March 7 is a trial for selling fresh produce, called Fruit and Produce Buy the Piece and Pound Market Day, in front of the Eagle Express Market to see if students will engage in purchasing fresh fruit, vegetables and honey.

“It is a test run for what we will do every Thursday during spring quarter,” McKay said.  “We are going to do a little feature on fresh fruit produce. “

Recipe cards will be available for students to take and will have the option of purchasing the ingredients at market day to make the recipe on their own.

“A salsa recipe card: simple, straightforward; we will have the ingredients there if they want to buy them, take them home, and make them,” McKay said.

Dons Greenhouse in Cheney is providing Roma tomatoes, cilantro, onions, baby carrots and more, according to the list of market day providers.

Millers Homestead in Cheney is providing fresh honey, according to the list of market day providers.

The FruitGuys, based out of San Francisco, are providing sustainable fresh fruit along with some standards including bananas, oranges, apples, pears and more, according to the list of market day providers.

The produce will sell by the piece and the pound, but the pricing is based on how much the providers sell it to Dining Services.