Cut the fat, cut the fast food


    By Natalie Kilgore

    The next time students go to McDonald’s, they may be told to balance their meals and not their tray — and to lay off the fast food.

    That’s what the newest nurse practitioner at the McDonald Student Health Center, Linda Hale, advised BYU students.

    “Learn to balance what’s on your plate,” Hale said.

    Hale advised students to take time out for themselves, or their bodies would make them regret it.

    Hale said students need to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals and go easy on the fast food.

    Hale’s advice may sound easy in theory, but to students with hectic schedules, it is more difficult than it sounds.

    “I’d rather eat at home, but the preparation time kills me. I don’t have enough time in the morning to do that,” said Becca Gollaher, 18, a freshman majoring in Spanish teaching from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

    Convenience is also the deciding factor for Caroline Milton, 21, a senior majoring in sociology from Spotslyvania, Va.

    “I just don’t have the time to go home and eat or I would,” she said.

    If convenience is not the deciding factor in choosing to eat fast food, money is.

    “I’d rather eat Subway, but the line is way too long and Taco Bell is so much cheaper,” Gollaher said.

    Tight budgets cause students to weigh the choice between a 99-cent burrito from Taco Bell or a Subway, which only has six grams of fat.

    Most often, Taco Bell wins.

    “When you’re watching your money, it’s the obvious choice,” Gollaher said.

    According to the American Obesity Association, obesity affects at least 70 million Americans and nearly one-third of all adults.

    Becca Roberts, 21, a senior majoring in community health from Pocatello, Idaho, said according to American Medical Association guides, a male is obese if his body fat percentage is 25 percent or over.

    Roberts said women are obese if their body fat percentage is 32 percent or higher.

    Although Hale offered this word of caution, she did say that overall, BYU students are the healthiest she’s seen.

    “The students here are basically healthy, vibrant, cream of the crop-type people,” she said.

    For students curious to know their body fat percentage, the Y Be Fit program on campus offers a $10 screening, Roberts said.

    The AMA advises people to reduce fat in their diet in order to have a healthier lifestyle.

    The AMA suggests to fry food less, use fat sparingly, and choose low-fat alternatives to high-fat foods.

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