HERC to host session on dieting, healthy eating

Hannah Shillo, Entertainment Reporter

The Health Education Resource Center will host a new informational session Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Effingham Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

“Forget the Fad Diet” will focus on the benefits of developing and using healthy habits rather than restricting certain foods when on a diet.

Lindsey Eigsti, the nutrition promotion coordinator in the Health Education Resource Center, came up with the idea for the program after seeing the need to inform students.

“It seems like when I get on social media this time of year, I see so many people I’m friends with sharing thoughts about certain diets,” she said. “I see it on campus, too, so I presented the idea to my supervisor. She agreed that it was definitely something we need to discuss, so from there we’ve been developing the program.”

Eigsti said she will talk about the different types of diets, including high fat/low carb diets, liquid diets and cleansing diets.

“There are a lot of misconceptions (about dieting), especially when we head into the new year,” she said. “People always have the ‘New year, new me’ idea, and they want to try out new diets or modify their current behaviors to look for more healthful habits, but with that we felt like they needed some guidance.”

She said she will introduce the theories behind why people think those diets work along with the science to discuss why results may not be long term, and she will have visual aids to support the information she is providing.

“Diet culture can be dangerous,” Eigsti said. “There is a lot of misinformation about it, so I’m trying to put some research into it for people to understand what will actually help their bodies.”

Eigsti said in addition to the nutritional information she will provide, she will also cover the other services offered by the Health Education Resource Center.

According the HERC website, the department offers health information regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention and education, flu and cold prevention, mental health education and sexual health education.

Eigsti said she thinks this new program is an important resource to offer because people generally begin building the foundation for their health when they are young, so she wants to make sure students are getting the correct nutritional information before dabbling into the dangers of dieting that can affect people long-term.

“With this topic specifically, I think it’s important to start early,” she said. “Get the proper education while it’s free and accessible to you as a student. Build healthy habits that will last a lifetime rather than fighting and struggling with it for years and years.”

Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]