[Healthcare Special 3] You Are What You Eat
[Healthcare Special 3] You Are What You Eat
  • Reporter Lee Suh-young
  • 승인 2011.04.13 00:54
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The old adage goes, ‘You are what you eat’. College is bad for students’ health. They feel way too busy to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. For most students, maintaining a diet on a college campus can be extremely hard task.

Whereas most graduate students have lunch with lab members, undergraduates have complete freedom of what they eat. In most case, however, freedom of eating is wasted for several reasons, leading to severe health problem.

 “I got up at 2 P.M. I had no time for lunch, not to mention breakfast,” said a sophomore named Kim. Sleeping late leads to waking up late. According to the 2008 Student Counseling Center survey, more than half of undergraduate and graduate students go to sleep after 2 A.M. and many students have difficulty in waking up in the morning. This eventually leads to irregular eating habits. Mr. Kim is a typical sophomore of POSTECH. He takes 18 credits this semester and participates in one club activity. During the day, all he ate was banana milk, potato chips for dinner, gimbab for a late night meal, and a half pitcher of beer. Extreme as it might seem, many students feel uncomfortable to go to the restaurant alone. Getting up late leads to missing the meal time and causes irregular eating patterns.

▲ Composition of daily consumption of a typical sophomore

“In the spring semester of the first year, I lost 10 kg. I used to wake up with a terrible hangover every day, so skipped breakfast and lunch. For dinner, I ate some dairy product for keeping slim. At night, I went on a binge and ate high-calorie food. It was a vicious circle.” A lot of freshmen experience severe weight change because of immoderate drinking. Despites its high calories, alcohol has no nutritional value.

“It’s a sort of contradiction. Students ask the Snack Bar to provide healthier food, but in reality, the most popular food is Ramen, more than 300 dishes per day,” said nutritionist, Kang Ra-young. The student restaurant is a good choice for those who want to eat right with little budget. From this semester, POSTECH abolished the lunch time break and elongated the lunch time of student restaurant from 1:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. However, from 1:30 P.M. to 2:30 P.M., usually only 10 to 15 students use the student restaurant and the POSTECH Welfare Facilities is considering shortening the lunch hour.

Although students complain about the restricted choice of their lunch menu, adding another restaurant is extremely difficult. Currently there is one outside vendor, Burger King, at Jigok. “The monthly sales of Burger King is up to 100 million won. This is higher than the sum of selling by all Welfare Facilities shops. This is why we cannot add other restaurants from outside,” explained Lee Jae-Cheol of Welfare Facilities. “We want to get profits by ourselves and reinvest them in POSTECH. It’s for public interest.”

“In order to eat right, we need to be more creative. I have some stocked side dishes in my refrigerator and so do my roommate. We eat together with half-cooked rice,” said Park Min-sun (LIFE, `10) Even if there is not a refrigerator, quick and easy meals can be stored in dorm rooms. Cereals with less sugar, cans of tuna, fresh fruits, and milk in special packaging that does not require refrigeration.

“I hope students have healthy meals. Outside foods are not trustworthy. This is why we started POSTECH Late Night Meal.” said Lee. “We can provide healthy and cleaned-cook food. If students require more from us, we are willing to do so.”