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When it comes to health and nutrition, college students do not have the best reputation, and the

notorious “freshman 15” is no joke. The dining halls with their tempting buffets, the late night pizza
deliveries, the frequent frappuccinos, and vending machine sodas are pretty tough to resist. On the
other hand, some students find themselves too busy to eat, or they simply don’t want to spend money
on nutritious meal options when McDonald’s dollar menu is calling their name! The newfound freedom
that college students have can lead to poor eating habits—either overeating or not eating enough,
neither of which is beneficial to a young body. For these reasons, I think there should be a required
nutrition course for all freshman at Elon to ensure that every student is educated on the benefits of
proper nutrition. This course would be called _____________ and would address topics such as, basic
nutrients we all need to be getting in our diet, timing of meals according to one’s lifestyle, how nutrition
affects not just our physical health, but also our mental health, and how to eat healthy on a budget.

Over the past few years I have taken an interest in nutrition and healthy eating and I would like to
continue learning more on the topic. It is no coincidence that this interest of mine has developed along
with my level of commitment to musical theatre training. I have noticed a significant difference in the
way nutrition affects my performance, energy, and mood. I know I must always properly hydrate and
fuel up before dance classes, rehearsals and shows, or else I will not have the energy to perform at my
peak. If I neglect to do so, I am left feeling uneasy, fatigued, and with a headache. Student athletes
know the importance of proper hydration and nutrition and so should all college students. Everyone
should be aware of how what substances they put in their bodies can affect their performance both in,
and outside of the classroom.

In addition to the amount of energy a person may possess, diet can affect mood and stress levels. We all
know that stress and anxiety affect nearly every college student, and poor nutrition can make it worse.
Stress can cause a person to crave foods high in sugar, fat, and salt, none of which are going to make
them feel better in the long run. When students don’t eat enough food with proper nutrients (or simply
don’t eat enough food), it causes fluctuations in blood sugar which leads to mood swings, fatigue, and
poor concentration. Excess caffeine can cause sleep disturbances and inability to concentrate. Poor
nutrition in general can lead to lowered immunity and more susceptibility to illnesses. Conversely, a
well-balanced diet can provide sustained energy, ability to focus, and an even disposition.

For all of these reasons, I believe a basic course on nutrition would benefit every student at Elon.

**potential course names: Not your momma’s diet; Nutrition: owning it; Nutrition Know-how; Nutrition
& You