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SO FAR IN my column this semester, I’ve written about the competence of our sports teams, jock stereotypes, and sport policy. What I haven’t taken the time to comment on is the topic of nutrition—a subject that, despite its importance to athletes, is rarely touched upon in a section complete with varsity games, competitive clubs, and fitness advice.

Yes, I may be a sports editor and a sports writer, but that doesn’t mean I am an expert in all things health-related. While I recognize the importance of including nutrition-related content, I realized shortly after taking this job that I do not have the credentials to write about it. Thank goodness for knowledgeable volunteer writers.

This week, after editing the Foolproof Fitness column and reading the information provided by Stuart Thomas, a graduate student from the human kinetics program, I suddenly realized why I wasn’t focusing more of my section on nutrition and healthy eating. It was because I, like so many others on campus, have justified my eating habits on what I call a “student level.”

The other night was the perfect example. I was heading to the library to do some studying and I thought, “I need some snacks to keep me awake.” Did I head home and cut up some carrots and some cheese slices? No, of course I didn’t. I headed to the Pivik and purchased a bag of peanut M&Ms and a Coke. I thought, “Perfect! Peanuts have protein, and I get my dairy in the chocolate! And the Coke is diet, so it’s not so bad.”

When I arrived at the library, I met up with a friend. She pulled out an apple and trail mix. I guiltily looked down at my snacks and told myself, “I had a decent lunch with hummus and carrots, so its fine.” The problem is that this happens on a regular basis.

The student life gives us a million and one excuses for not eating healthy. We justify our poor choices with papers, midterms, and finals. We think that because we are stressed it shouldn’t matter. We eat our comfort food—whether that is an entire box of Kraft Dinner, one of those large, delicious (yet I’m sure 90 per cent oil) cookies from the cafeteria—or a bag of peanut M&Ms and a Coke.

The thing is: Health experts are right. Eating vegetables and cheese as a snack actually helps you stay more alert and energetic. This stuff is common knowledge, and it shouldn’t have to be read in a sports section for students to know that eating healthier will relieve some of their everyday stress. So why do we continuously justify eating cake on a Wednesday night because we need a break from that library atmosphere? I can’t answer that—I’m just as bad as the rest.

Katherine DeClerq
(613) 562-5931