Lessons for the D-Hall, Thanks to SLS19

by Landy Erlick ’19

Global Health and Nutrition, or SLS19, is part of the Science of the Living Systems general education department. It’s also extremely interesting and edifying. I’ll be honest, I originally enrolled in the course purely to fulfill a requirement. Ever since the very first lecture, however, I have found the subject matter creeping into my daily life, and I think one topic is particularly relevant for your next d-hall venture: micronutrient deficiencies.

a great - and bright - source of vitamin c
A great – and bright – source of Vitamin C!

Each time you choose white rice over brown rice, cereal over vegetables, and glowing blue PowerAde over a glass of water, not only are you falling prey to “the freshman fifteen” – and every year after that – but you are also increasing your risk of developing micronutrient deficiencies. Though more common in developing countries where access to a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains is limited due to poverty or seasonality, micronutrient deficiencies are present in industrialized, rich nations, too. Most students don’t have the discipline to take multiple supplements every day, so it’s important to reach our necessary vitamin intake by filling those ceramic plates with an array of green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, animal protein, cheese, and even some grill-order eggs.  

green leafy vegetables are filled with nurtrients

Admittedly, it’s unlikely that a college student in the Northeast will develop scurvy, but the disease is not just limited to pirates sailing the seas in the 1700s.  Whether you are a vegetarian, vegan, or just prefer a daily sundae over a salad, it’s important to observe your eating habits and take notice of the categories in which you’re lacking. Even though it takes a severe micronutrient deficiency to express symptoms like night blindness or anemia, eating well from a young age boasts many benefits, especially in the battle against obesity. In fact, in recent years, over-nutrition has become more prevalent than under-nutrition. That is a daunting statement.  

Cake might be filled with tasty sugar, but it's lacking in vitamins
Cake might be filled with tasty sugar, but it’s lacking in vitamins.
high in sugars and saturated fats, these spreads could use some micronutrients from a slice of whole wheat or multigrain toast
High in sugar and saturated fats, these spreads could use some micronutrients from a slice of whole wheat or multigrain toast.

It only takes a few minutes to look into food sources for important vitamins. Google is your friend. Of course, your diet is your choice, moderation is key, and a balanced life is a healthy life. So, eat the slice of pizza at 3 a.m. – you are in college, after all – just also keep in mind that an apple a day really might just keep the doctor away.

  

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s