LGU Students Help Local Food Banks

In a previous post, I had mentioned a program at La Salle known as Leadership and Global Understanding. It is a minor offered at La Salle and one of the primary focuses of the program is service.

The Students of the LGU prgram at La Salle, along with the Exploring Nutrition program organized a food drive to donate food to local food banks and programs. The local grocery story, Fresh Grocer, also takes part by donating food and produce.

The food drive takes place around Easter and is known as the Easter Food Drive. The students this year did an outstanding job and helped many families.

Red Meat Impacts Both the Environment and Our Health.

Professor Jule Ann Henstenburg is the director of the Nutrition Program at La Salle University. The program is part of the school of nursing and health sciences.

Henstenburg recently discussed the new dietary guidelines for Americans in 2015 to an audience of college students. These guidelines are the basis for all of the nutrition and dietary guidelines for American citizens. By law, these guidelines have to be updated every 5 years. The group who makes the guidelines consists of academics and researchers across the United States. But, many people see controversy in these guidelines because they are believed to be influenced by the food industry. The report goes into the federal register where the public can comment on the report.

The report states that diets should be low in red and processed meats, but due to the public comment space people who work for the meat industry commented that Americans need to have meat on their tables.

Henstenburg also discussed the Meatless Mondays Movement. She also discussed the different ways that meat production impacts the environment. Some of the impacts she discussed was that meat production produces more greenhouse gasses┬áthan the world’s transportation. She also stated that just by eating a burger you can contribute to the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest because burgers are made from cows and cows are fed soy; soy is grown in the Amazon Rainforest. By making one burger, approximately 55 percent of rainforest is destroyed. Henstenburg stated that the slides she used in her presentation were from Johns Hopkins University and that they were not sensationalized. Henstenburg also emphasized that these were warnings against red meat not whit meat.

Henstenburg emphasized that people can reduce their carbon footprint by eating less red meat and also by opting for grass fed meat as opposed to soy fed meat.

Overall, while eating meat can cause many environmental impacts, it can also impact your health in ways such as heart disease and diabetes.

The Issue of Disordered Eating

Dr. Edie Goldbacher, an assistant professor at La Salle University, is interested in and has performed research on disordered eating . In addition, Goldbacher supervises a clinic that helps people who suffer from disordered eating and observes their eating patterns.

“Between 1990 and 2010 obesity trends have seen over a 10% increase.” Goldbacher said in a recent discussion. One suggestion on why studies have seen this increase is due to the large cuts on recess that many schools have made causing kids to have less time to run around and play outside.

Some reasons Goldbacher listed for the increase were genetic and environmental factors and living in a food desert. Goldbacher made sure to inform her audience that genetics do not cause obesity they just increase the risk.

Goldbacher also mentioned that increased portion sizes, as seen in the documentary Super Size Me, not being able to afford a gym membership, living in a bad neighborhood, and mindless eating. Mindless eating is also part one of the unhelpful eating patterns that multiple people have developed.

Goldbacher began discussing exactly what a clinic that focuses on disordered eating does when targeting obesity. The clinicians help their clients take part in behavioral weight loss. They educate them on skills helpful in self-monitoring and they also help clients set goals for themselves. Clinicians help clients with problem solving and stimulus control as well. For many people, behavior is hard to change therefore the clinicians educate their clients on coping and relapse prevention.

Goldbacher said that most of these programs last for 12-20 weeks and usually consist of a 50 minute meeting a week. The clinicians will track the weight of their clients and provide an education in nutrition.

Something important to remember is that disordered eating is not an eating disorder. If you are concerned about someone you know there are many resources that you can access.