Beware of fad diets and fast weight loss promises: Health experts weigh in how students can build healthy habits - External Relations
Beware of fad diets and fast weight loss promises: Health experts weigh in how students can build healthy habits
July 26, 2021
VINCENNES, Ind. – Call it the “Quarantine 15” or “COVID-19”, many people are reporting that the buttons on their clothing have been social distancing.
Sixty-one percent of adults reported experiencing undesired weight changes since the start of the pandemic, according to a February 2021 American Psychological Association survey. Forty-two percent, more than two in five survey participants, said they gained more weight than they intended.
Factors such as stress, isolation, lockdown orders, boredom, lack of access to gyms or recreational facilities, more time spent indoors, may have contributed to weight gain.
College students will soon return to campus for the fall semester. Some possibly with unwanted pounds. College students are often the target of ad messages promoting fad diets and various weight loss plans, which may not be healthy options and which Vincennes University health experts warn against.
As the world attempts to emerge from this pandemic, getting back on track to a healthy lifestyle and following healthy habits is of great concern or priority, especially as many people are preparing to go back to school or return to the office.
VU's Aquatic Center
Vincennes University Professor and Nutrition and Dietetics Program Chair Lou Ann Lindsey, R.D.N., M.S., emphasizes that “Two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese, so many of us could benefit from positive dietary changes. Healthy eating and exercise habits may directly aid with weight control and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Lowered blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and moderated blood sugars are often the result of weight loss. In addition, healthy lifestyles make us feel better about ourselves and improve our mental outlook and lower our stress levels. Rather than focus too much on the scales, I would suggest focusing on the healthy eating and exercise habits, and then the weight takes care of itself.”
Lindsey suggests people should steer clear of fad diets and fraudulent products or supplements that claim to help with weight loss.
"People who might want professional help with planning a healthy weight loss diet would benefit from the services of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist,” Lindsey said. "Most often, a dietitian consultant can be found through a local hospital on an outpatient basis. They may need a referral from their physician. Of course, there are many self-help programs and activities that can be useful in improving one’s diet and activity level."
Lindsey recommends going to the www.MyPlate.gov website to get more information.
"There is also a handy app to download from that website that will help them be able to track food intake as well as activity levels," Lindsey said. "There is also a lot of helpful information there on planning a diet to meet their nutritional needs as well as to help with weight loss."
VU's Tecumseh Dining Center
Students interested in learning more about nutrition and healthy eating can enroll in VU’s Fundamentals of Nutrition course. One of the most important concepts the class covers is how to identify sources of good nutrition information.
Physical fitness and being active are critical components in overall health and wellness.
VU's Student Recreation Center
According to VU College of Health Sciences and Human Performance Dean Michelle Cummins, “Exercise is more than losing weight. There are countless proven upsides to incorporating fitness and being active into a daily routine. Regular exercise and moving your body have many physical, emotional, and mental benefits for the whole being.”
Kinesiology studies the mechanics of human movement and how they impact health and wellbeing. VU’s Kinesiology and Sport, Wellness and Exercise degree prepares students for potential careers in fitness/wellness centers and health clubs in addition to community, employee, and institutional exercise programs.
Being healthy, fit, and well is a lifelong venture.
Vincennes University supports total wellness and health for the mind, body, and spirit.
Students, faculty, and staff have access to a myriad of resources and services, including the following.
University Primary Care Center: The UPCC is dedicated to providing exceptional care and keeping students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy.
Counseling Center: Confidential emotional counseling and psychotherapeutic services are available to all VU students through the Counseling Center.
Recreation facilities: The VU community is encouraged to engage in stimulating and fun activities in first-class facilities, such as the Student Recreation Center, Aquatic Center, and Bowling Center. They offer a wide range of indoor and outdoor options, including a fitness center, a state-of-the-art pool adaptable for either leisure or competition, and training with water lounge seating, a vortex, a spa, and more.
Intramural sports: The perfect way for students to fire up their competitive spirit and interact with their peers is to take part in intramural sports. VU has introduced a new simple process for students who want to participate in sports like basketball, flag football, dodgeball, and volleyball to sign up through the IMLeagues app or website.
Kimmell Park: Situated along the Wabash River, VU offers many outdoor opportunities, including the 8.5-acre park. Located near the Construction Technology Building and Track House, Kimmell park is a popular spot for fishing and panoramic views of the river. It also features a riverfront walking, jogging, and bicycle path that connects the park to downtown and the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park.