STARKVILLE, Miss.--Can't make it to the Sanderson Center every day? Tired of running solely on Pop-Tarts and microwaveable macaroni? Wondering how to avoid the dreaded "freshman 15" at all costs?
To help answer these and other questions, Mississippi State health and wellness staff are encouraging students to take advantage of available university programs and resources. The health education and wellness department at the Longest Student Health Center is a part of the university's Division of Student Affairs.
"Our goal is to provide all students, faculty and staff with resources, programs, and cutting edge prevention strategies to promote positive quality of life," said department director Joyce Yates. "The healthy student is the more successful student."
Free one-on-one counseling for students is among several services offered. Registered dietitian Mandy Conrad is available by appointment to counsel students in different areas of nutrition, such as weight loss, sports nutrition, and disordered eating, among others.
This service also is an asset of "MSU on the Move," the university's new health initiative funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.
Junior kinesiology major John Valentine of Arlington, Texas, a member of the MSU varsity cross country and track and field team, is a department client.
"I was struggling with a lot of fatigue issues," he said. "Mrs. Conrad and I talked about my diet and exercise relationship and what I was doing correctly and, more importantly, incorrectly."
Now, Valentine keeps a daily journal of the things he eats "so that I can meet with her again and see how my diet has improved."
"We can help you figure out how to make healthier, happier choices," Conrad said. "It can be realistic, and it can be doable."
Throughout each semester, she and others in the department lead a number of diet-centered programs that are open to the entire campus community.
"Our programs change based on the trends, the topics that are out there, and what people come in and ask us about," Conrad explained. "We are more than happy to tailor our programs based on the needs we see."
As part of "MSU on the Move," cooking demonstrations are also scheduled this semester. The next demonstration will be held Monday [Sept. 24] at the Sanderson Center. For additional dates, visit www.msuonthemove.msstate.edu.
Individual academic classes or student groups also may request a specific program from the department. Visit www.health.msstate.edu/health/index.htm, telephone 662-325-7539, or visit the health center's appointment desk for more information.