Readers’ Forum: 1/8/19

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Childhood obesity

I grew up in what I would consider to be a typical American home. Yes, I too, am a victim of being raised on pizza bites, Reese’s Puffs cereal, chicken nuggets and treats. However, when I reached the age of about 14, as a girl going into high school, I no longer could get away with filling my body with the processed, over-sugared, over-fatty, over-everything junk I had grown up with.

Friends were starting to go on diets, restrict their calorie intake and form negative thoughts surrounding their bodies. It was around this same time when I had an epiphany — kids are taught how to fuel their bodies in reverse. They are fed junk and become addicted to sugar, only to later learn that most everything they are eating is bad for them.

We live in a time when eating disorders run rampant and many young people have a poor relationship with food. Food is designed to fuel our bodies and minds, so instead of implementing vegetables and whole foods as kids get older, we should be teaching them from the start.

Children watch what we do and learn through our habits and examples. If we first develop a healthy relationship with food ourselves and then teach the same principles to our children, we can help them and ourselves. Do your research and take time and pride in giving yourself and your children the food your bodies and minds deserve.

—Lahni Suzuki

Carlsbad, California

Student jobs

School is starting and we are all spending a lot of money. Tuition at BYU costs upward of $2,500 for just one short semester. Rent for a small apartment ranges from $250 to $750 a month, your average date is at least $20 and books are in the hundreds. Let’s be frank, you need all the money you can get.

We all well appreciate that money doesn’t grow on trees. We must earn it; however, as college students we don’t have the time to work crazy hours and our priority is school. Hence, “the part-time job.” One might ask, “How can I work and still balance school and social life and a million other things?” It’s not easy; a few hours of work daily along with classes, homework, friends and church stuff is a lot, but BYU makes it easier. It offers a plethora of jobs and the incredibly flexible work schedule and convenient location make working while in college that much simpler.

Understanding how to make and properly use money is essential in life. And yes, I know, a part-time job on campus is not going to roll in the dough, but it’s a start. A job teaches you how to earn money consistently and spend it wisely. To ensure financial stability throughout life, we need to learn these valuable skills now.

I recently started a part-time job here at BYU, and I can honestly say I don’t like my new reception desk nearly as much as the basketball court, but I know  getting a job in college has helped me, and will help you use time more effectively, make your resume better and teach crucial money management skills.

—Darren Lowe

Bellevue, Washington

Prescription drugs

How would you finish the sentence “one-third of college students will…”? Gain 15 pounds their freshman year? Change their major multiple times? Those may be true, but the answer we will address today is one-third of college students will abuse prescription drugs during their college career, and that is a bigger problem than not fitting into your favorite jeans.

As students at a religious university we are not necessarily excluded from the trend. Some of the reasons people start misusing prescription pills include academic pressures, staying awake for late-night study sessions and dieting purposes. These are all struggles BYU students face on a daily basis. If anything, this is a bigger issue in our culture because the letter of the law does not state “thou shalt not use Adderall to stay up all night to study.”

We are imperfect beings living in a culture that can sometimes mistake trying your best for perfectionism. There are many solutions to the problem of drug abuse, but in order to help we have to eliminate misconceptions.

Many people assume that to get these drugs, you have to go down a dark alley and get them illegally, but in reality you just have to walk into your doctor’s office. In 2015, the amount of opioids prescribed in the U.S. was enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks.

As a 14-year-old with an ACL injury, I was part of this statistic. It is easy, and in most occasions right, to trust your doctor, however, it never hurts to research the effects of what we are putting into our bodies for ourselves. The result would be college students who were a little more tired, but a lot less addicted to prescription drugs.

—Hailey June

Racine, Wisconsin

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