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Archive for Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Nutritional data about KU meals to go online

Information on food served at dining halls to be posted

March 1, 2006

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Burritos. Pizza. Beer.

College students aren't necessarily known for making good food choices, but that could change at Kansas University.

The university is working to put nutritional information for its dining hall offerings on the Internet, following the path of other universities that have armed students with some tools they need to make better food choices.

"I would definitely make better decisions," KU freshman Alicia Schmitz said. "I think we're health-conscious."

Sheryl Kidwell, assistant director of KU dining services, said the goal is to have dining services menus with each food's nutritional information online by the end of this calendar year.

"We're hearing more and more requests for (nutritional information)," Kidwell said. "We've thrown it out there as one of the many things that we want on our Web page."


Kansas University graduate students Otilia Blaga, Westminster, Calif., center, and Audra Sterling, South Bend, Ind., right, eat lunch at the Kansas Union. The university is working to put nutritional information for its dining hall offerings on the Internet, following the path of other universities that have armed students with some tools they need to make better food choices.

Kansas University graduate students Otilia Blaga, Westminster, Calif., center, and Audra Sterling, South Bend, Ind., right, eat lunch at the Kansas Union. The university is working to put nutritional information for its dining hall offerings on the Internet, following the path of other universities that have armed students with some tools they need to make better food choices.

KU puts food facts on signs in its dining halls. At Mrs. E's - the nickname for Ekdahl Dining Commons - in Lewis Hall, for example, students can see the calories, fat, protein and carbohydrate content of nearly every item.

"I check out how much fat is in the foods I eat," KU freshman Stephen White said Tuesday while dining at Mrs. E's. "I don't get too much fried food."

Putting the information online is particularly helpful to students who have special dietary needs, said Missy Schrader, a registered dietitian for housing and dining services at Kansas State University. K-State has placed meal nutritional information online.

"We're seeing more and more students that are diabetics or are on some types of specialized diet," Schrader said. "It's really just a service to our students, hopefully making their stay with us better."

The sites can be sophisticated.

On K-State's Web site, students can find out how much saturated fat is in the breakfast biscuits or how much salt is in the blueberry syrup. On Harvard University's dining services Web site, students can punch in how many servings and toppings they want for their meals and the site then calculates the food facts - down to the vitamins.

Online nutritional information would be helpful, KU senior Ashley Withers said.

"So many people come and gain weight," she said, "and don't really know why."

Comments

pelliott 8 years, 9 months ago

While I found Mrs E's kitchen clean, their practices are awful. Just one example, the salad bar, tub after tub of premade salads, macaroni, potatoe, etc are opened, placed in the bar, close to 90 to 95 percent uneatened , many regulary sit untried,after both lunch and after supper, all is dumped in the garbage disposal When asked, they say the student have a sense of being offered a variety. The tubs are basically fake-mayo based bad tasting tubs of crap. A lot of unhealthy heavily processed food is heated and served as if freshly prepared. Salt, sugar, perservatives are the spices, fats and processed starch are the major food groups. For 1/10 the money the salad bar could be a small collection of really fresh vegetables rather than an ocean of inedible slurries.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

From time to time Mrs. E's buys organic tofu and tempeh.

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