Healthy food choices target of new student-created campaign

Healthy choices are the right choices, and a new, student-created campaign on campus will drive that message home starting this week. Posters and other materials featuring student athletes highlight the importance of incorporating vegetables into every meal. Customers at restaurants around campus will start seeing the posters and table tents soon.

The campaign is sponsored by Be Well, an OSU organization supporting healthy living on campus through nutritious eating, physical activity, stress management and smoking cessation. Sandi Cleveland with Be Well said that focusing on nutrition is crucial to improving health on campus.

Research shows that OSU students aren’t eating enough vegetables on a daily basis,” Cleveland said. “We hope this campaign will prompt students to add a vegetable to each meal.  It’s about encouraging small, easy changes that can make a big impact.”

The project was designed and photographed by students working with Memorial Union Assistant Director of Marketing and Assessment, Kent Sumner, including photographers Rachel Fisher and Sara Schumacher and designer Caitlin McGinley. All three are majors in the OSU graphic design program.

The student athletes who volunteered to be a part of the project included members of the golf team, track and cross country, women’s rowing, men’s soccer and softball. Each member chose vegetables that they particularly enjoyed, and shared some thoughts about why vegetables are such a crucial part of being healthy.

Golfer David Fink said he tries to eat vegetables even when he’s on the road with his team.

“Usually when we’re traveling I’ll push the coach to go somewhere that has healthier meals with vegetables,” he said. “It really does affect the way you play the next day in competition. You can feel it when you wake up. If you didn’t eat well, you know it.”

For many athletes, the decision to eat healthy started with the choices their parents made. Golfer Jonnie Motomochi said he still can’t escape from the influences of his vegetable-loving parents.

“My mom focused on ‘Eat your vegetables,’” he said. “I’m from Canada, and she still calls down and says, ‘Make sure you eat your vegetables and eat well.’”

Softball player Erin Guzy said it’s easy to find ways to make vegetables more appealing, even for people who are scared to try new ones.

“There’s ways to make vegetables taste better. I eat anything with hummus. There’s ways of cooking them in a certain sauce,” she said. “There are ways to make healthy foods taste good.”

Women’s rowing team member Hilary Polis agreed.

“You don’t have to eat things that you don’t like,” she said. “Find vegetables that you like and eat those. Find dishes that you like to eat and incorporate vegetables into those. Make vegetarian pizza or stick vegetables in your burrito.”

Men’s soccer player Chris Harms sees a practical aspect to including vegetables in his diet.

“Vegetables are delicious and easy to acquire and easy to make for yourself and they’re not that expensive,” he said. “For a college kid, that makes a lot of sense.”

To find out more about eating healthy on campus, check out the Be Well blog at http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/bewell/.

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