Healthy eating made easier on campus

With 27 different restaurants and kiosks on George Mason University’s three campuses, there is a variety of dining options for students and facility.  However, this also means more and easier access to less nutritious foods.  Most people don’t have time to sit down to a wholesome meal between classes, homework, sports and other commitments, but this doesn’t mean that you have to go without healthy dietary options.

“Eating healthy on campus is difficult at times,” says freshman Environmental Science major Lauren Van Vliet. She describes Southside, one of the main dining facilities on campus, as “boring for people who want to eat healthy because it is limited,” and says that eating heathily at the Johnson Center can be difficult, especially when students are on the go. However, she believes that Mason overall does a good job providing healthy options.

Sodexo, the company that runs Mason Dining, provides a nutrition calculator on their website, as well as a link to its own nutrition website. This website contains information about healthy dining, wellness resources available for students, and a page specifically for food allergies and gluten-free dining. Tips for balancing your meals and food recipes are also available.

Mason’s on staff dietitian, Lois Durant, is available through Student Health Services to answer questions about several topics, including general nutrition and wellness, health education and dietary allergy nutrition.  Cooking demonstrations are also available.  Appointments are available for no charge on Tuesdays by appointment through the Fairfax Campus Clinic.

“Healthy eating is all about balance and variety,” Durant says, “Enjoy your favorite foods periodically, but balance them out with healthier foods.”

Durant recommends eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and lots of whole grain and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.  Lean meats, seafood, beans, eggs and nuts should be consumed with moderation while saturated and trans-fats, high cholesterol, high sodium and high sugar foods should be consumed sparingly.

Information on nutrition in Southside is available at the Dining website. Burger King, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-a and Sub Connection have their nutritional information posted on nearby walls.

Some recommendations from Durant include drinking water in place of drinks with a high amount of sugar such as sodas or sweetened juices, consuming food with fewer toppings or opting to put condiments on the side, chewing food well and choosing to stop eating before you feel full.

Durant emphasizes controlling your portions of food and eating healthy meals, which with regular exercise, are keys to a healthy lifestyle.


Melody Mitchell, a freshman at Mason, will be a contributing reporter for C2M's Student Life & Digest section. Her beat will cover student trends ranging from fitness and health to fashion. If you have an idea for Melody feel free to send her an e-mail at .

No votes yet
Student Media Group: