Students get together to eat better



    With a little planning, students may enjoy their meals better by participating in a campaign that promotes students eating together.

    Three BYU alumni originated “Friends don’t let friends eat alone” campaign under the guidance of Lora Beth Brown, director of the Food Science Nutrition department.

    “The graduate students talked to students concerning group eating — the benefits, obstacles and ways to get around those problems. This project is a known beneficial campaign,” Lora Beth Brown said.

    The graduate students set up a focus group consisting of students enrolled in Food Science Nutrition 100. The focus group was asked to participate in group eating and to report the results.

    “People feel like they eat better and more nutritious when they eat together,” said Mary Brown, 25, a campaign director from Cedar City with a degree in nutritional science.

    The focus group also discovered group eating keeps the grocery cost down.

    “The whole apartment has to arrange time and agree on a menu to make the experience successful,” said Jenny Mortensen, 27, a campaign director from Chicago with a degree in nutritional science.

    The campaign’s main goal is to encourage students to eat healthier, but the alumni realized it may not be a persuasive motive.

    “When a group eats together, they not only eat a healthier meal but also get to know their roommates or friends better. We hope the social benefit will attract more people to participate in this campaign,” Lora Beth Brown said.

    Many BYU wards already have meals together either as a ward or in smaller groups.

    “I like to participate in potlucks and ward activities because you get to know people you normally wouldn’t have a chance to. I think if the ward plans out the whole meal it would be more healthy and successful,” said Mari Madden, 20, a senior from Cupertino, Calif., majoring in international studies global trade.

    “There’s really no mystery in dieting. The more research done, the simpler the results become. Go back to grain, fruits and vegetables,” said Merrill J. Christensen, a Food Science Nutrition faculty member.

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