Fast food’s road to health


A consumer sciences professor and documentary producer from Eastern Illinois University will discuss his featured documentary film “Portion Size Me” at BYU on Jan. 17 at 11 a.m. in the Joseph Smith Building Auditorium.

James Painter is not only chair of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University but is also a recognized food psychologist. The film he produced is about 30 days of two college students living on fast food.

CBS’s “Early Show” has featured the documentary in its Health Watch segment, and the film has also been mentioned in other media outlets, such as Glamour magazine and the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

This seminar is perfect for all kinds of people, according to Dr. Brown, associate professor of nutrition, dietetics & food science at BYU. She recommends that people who have seen the documentary attend the seminar in order to learn about both the experience and outcome behind the cameras, to get a behind-the-scenes point of view.

People who have an interest in health or dieting, as well as people who teach or study nutrition, are also encouraged to attend. The techniques discussed during the event can be practiced by all age groups and can be extremely useful for college students. It can help them improve their food choices and become aware of over-consumption.

The purpose of the nutrition seminar is to show how portion sizes truly influence one’s weight and health. It will also focus on teaching smart ways of fast food consumption and knowing how much is enough. Dr. Brown said fast food is not “dreadful or wonderful” and the audience will be warned about the pros and cons.

Painter’s experience and recommendations for healthy eating habits have taken him around the nation as a motivational speaker to help and inspire people of all ages to readjust their serving sizes in order to succeed at maintaining a healthy figure. Even though a great part of the documentary focuses on fast food, the seminar is neutral about consuming it. It does not encourage or discourage fast food, it simply helps people make better choices.

Painter gives an interesting twist to what everyone considers conventional dieting and does not prohibit fast food consumption but rather modifies how big a person’s serving should be and helps each individual recognize when he or she is full, even after decreasing food intake.

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