CSUEB Should Have Mandatory Health Education Classes

By Lamonte Dewindt
Staff Writer

With all the classes offered and required for students, one thing I believe is sorely lacking is a health education class required to graduate.
We have to retake things we took in high school such as biology and history and for some even statistics, yet with the obesity epidemic upon us we don’t even feel the need as a university to require students to be educated about a proper diet?
Classes like this are offered throughout the year by the Health Center, but do students even know about them, let alone go?
In all my years at CSU East Bay, I can tell you I have only heard about one health education and nutrition class, and that is only because I work in the RAW center.
As I see all the new things going on within CSUEB this year I get excited. Fresh new faces, campus seems lively; it feels like things are going to change this year. I look and see people eating their Subway and Raging Burrito meals with their friends outside the union and I notice the large portions of food people are eating.
I see one older woman eating a burrito and a taco, while her friend is eating a sub with two bags of chips and a Starbucks drink. Though it looks like a good and fulfilling meal, I realize that the calories in those meals are probably the equivalent to a whole days’ worth. A Venti (20 oz.) Caramel Frappuccino contains 500 calories by itself. Add in the chips and sandwich and we’re looking at over 1,000 calories easily. If that lady knew how rich her food was would she even eat that? I would like to believe no.
With the addition of the RAW Center and Subway as an eatery of choice on campus, our school is making strides to become a healthy institution. But why stop there? Students are made to take classes they do not need, so why not offer or require something that will help them in the end. If we want to become a healthier campus then let’s do it.
We go to a university where the majority of the students commute or are in a rush every day. This means they tend to want to eat a quick meal no matter how healthy.
According to Dr. Gayle Timmerman of the University of Texas, “about 38 percent of all meals and 24 percent of all snacks are consumed at restaurants, and the numbers are only increasing. College students living in dorms may eat out for every meal, effectively eating all of their meals in a restaurant or cafeteria setting.”
With the money we are putting into programs like Peers Advocates for Wellness (PAW) as well as programs put on by other organizations, these are all funds we could put towards Nutrition or Health Education classes. Even if only one person is helped from these classes every two years, that is one life saved, or one unhealthy person turned healthy.
Those numbers are good enough for me; what about you?