More than just an apple a day

Liberty recognizes National Nutrition Month as a time to learn healthy eating habits

March is officially here, which means spring is on the way. However, March is also National Nutrition Month. Throughout the month of March, Sodexo will be distributing flyers on healthy eating, as well as hosting several events.

Photo credit: Cassandra Steptoe

Photo credit: Cassandra Steptoe

According to registered dietician Kristina DiSanto, the nutrition stands in the Tilley Student Center and the campus dining hall will be filled with handouts and flyers with health tips.

“I think people underestimate the importance of nutrition in their lives and how it affects everything they do, from their grades in school to their athletic performance and to their ability to even walk up a flight of stairs,” DiSanto said.

DiSanto said that many times people do not think about what they are putting in their bodies.

“There’s so much hyper focus on diet and exercise, yet we are still a really obese country,” DiSanto said. “So clearly there is some miscommunication going on.”

DiSanto said the aim of spreading awareness of National Nutrition Month is to bring the focus back to nutrition and health rather than quick fixes and health fads.

DiSanto also offered several small changes students can make in regard to their diet that can help them stay healthy in the long run.

“I generally tell people to focus on one or two habit changes a week and see how that goes,” DiSanto said.

“Set some small goals.”

DiSanto suggested that students, for example, add one serving of vegetables into their daily diet. She said adding vegetables to a diet is one of the easier changes to make, especially for students with a meal plan on campus. Another tip is to make sure to eat breakfast.

DiSanto said if a student is generally eating only carbohydrates for breakfast, he or she should mix it up and have a carbohydrate paired with a protein.

“Do not try to do a total overhaul of your diet so that you go from completely unhealthy to the healthiest person in a world in a week because it’s not going to work,” DiSanto said.

DiSanto said it is important to cut down unhealthy eating choices in little ways to make it manageable. For instance, substitute a sugary granola bar for a piece of fruit.

DiSanto also suggested students cut soda or sugary beverages from their diets because they do not have any health benefits to them at all.

“Americans guzzle 31 gallons of soda per person per year, which is 3 times the global figure,” DiSanto said.

DiSanto said that when people do not get enough sleep, they tend to crave sugary, processed and highly sweetened carbohydrates.

“Sleep and nutrition go hand in hand,” DiSanto said.

Keep updated with the splash page and announcements around campus for National Nutrition Month events during the month of March.

DiSanto is available for nutrition counseling if any students are interested. Email her at

Sherrill is a news reporter.

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