BU is lucky to not only have an excellent nutrition program for Dietetic students, but also provide RD services to the entire university through the Nutrition and Fitness Center. Founded in 2004 byStacey Zawacki
toprovide nutrition, health and wellness education for individuals, and groups within Boston University.
Their website is full of excellent links, and nutrition information, as well as a calendar of things going on at BU.
I recently was given the chance to interview Sarah Butler and Laura Thompson, two RDs with Masters of Nutrition who now work full-time for the center. They give private counseling within the university, work with dining services and teach 2-credit nutrition courses.
And without further ado, I'll let these ladies take it away!
- Briefly, could you tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do?
LT: We also teach classes at Fitrec such as vegetarian nutrition and healthy eating on a budget. I also do a lot of work with the athletes at BU.
- What drew you to the field of nutrition?
LT: I didn’t want to be a biology major in college, ran cross-country one of my teammates was a nutrition major and loved it, checked out one of her classes, fell in love with it. Dietetics really interested me and aligned all of my interests.
- Talk to me a little bit about NFC and Sargent Choice. I'm, obviously, a huge fan. What has been your biggest successes and struggles within the university setting, trying to implement healthy eating practices?
- What is your favorite part about being a dietitian?
LT: Oftentimes you can see instant results. You can give someone a recommendation, they realize it’s working for them, and say "oh I get it now." Or taking miskewed ideas about food and correcting them, Nutrition Mythbusters!
- What's the most frustrating part of your job?
- How can we, as current and future dietitians, find more respect and recognition in the medical community and general population?
LT: The more we can explain the messages the media gives, then we can teach people while being in tune with the media and population. Interviews with media are great ways for a dietitian to debunk some of these myths. Looking at evidenced based research is definitely a top priority as is translating them into something that everyone can relate to.
- What is one thing you wish you could get every American to do to make our country healthier?
LT: The more you move the more you get to eat. If you want to eat a lot, then exercise a lot. oh and Don’t eat special k
I really like what Sarah said about Body Appreciation. Emotional eating and the relationship between love, food and self-esteem are very interesting, and close to heart for me. For one example, I work at an artisan bakery and see some very interesting relationships between people and their pastries. While I could go on and on about the characters I’ve interacted with, this day, a man came in, got a loaf of bread, glanced over at the other tempting items, and said “No. I’m watching what I’m eating-It will either cure me or kill me. “
While I don’t suggest that you go on a butter and sugar binge, there is something to be said about excessive worrying about food and how good it is. Orthroexia, or the obsession of eating only healthy and "pure" foods, is now an "official" eating disorder. While it's important to eat your fruit and vegetables the majority of the time, treats are ok in moderation, especially if you're active!
Like Laura, I also enjoy being a Nutrition Mythbuster, and am a firm believer in moving more to eat more!
Thank you Laura and Sarah for being inspiring young RDs who are making a real difference in an university setting!
How is/was the food at your university? Were there healthy options?