The Associated Students Commission on Student Well Being is hosting a lecture and dinner in the Loma Pelona Center this evening to inform students about healthy eating habits.

The event is intended to provide a forum to address various issues concerning the dietary habits of college students and the effects those habits will have on their future lives. Exercise and Sports Studies professor Art Gilbert and Isla Vista Food Co-op kitchen manager Madia Jamgochian will be speaking and food will be provided by the I.V. Food Co-op.

According to COSWB External Coordinator Diane Byun, certain foods available to students can be deceptive in their nutritional value and can cause problems for students who do not realize that they are not getting the nourishment they need.

“Our initiative is healthy eating, especially in the campus community because when you live in the dorms, you’re so enticed by the cereal and ice cream,” Byun said.  “Even if you’re an inhabitant of I.V., you aren’t surrounded by the healthiest food. Things that you think are healthy might actually be bad for you, and this event is closing in on this problem.”

COSWB Chair Lisa Schwartz said the event is designed to give students multiple ways to examine the serving sizes and types of foods they consume in the hopes that they will see how important it is to maintain a balanced diet.

“I hope that students will learn easy and efficient ways of eating healthy as well as the basics of what healthy eating encompasses,” Schwartz said. “We will be providing healthy sandwiches, wraps and vegetables from the I.V. Co-op to demonstrate that healthy food can be simple and delicious.”

According to Byun, Gilbert’s lecture is expected to address the scientific aspects of nutrition and make students aware of the technical facets of eating a balanced diet.

“It’s sort of what you would see on the nutrition facts label of a cereal box, but wrapped up in a lecture with his own twist to it,” Byun said.

Jamgochian said her time at UCSB provided her with personal experiences that will allow her to relate more closely with the students in attendance and demonstrate how crucial a balanced diet is to general health and well-being.

“I went through a lot of the same things that the students are going through right now.  I want to offer my experience with food and the effect stress has on the food that we choose to eat,” Jamgochian said. “Some things that I will talk about are digestive illnesses and overloading sugar intake that most people do not realize.”

The lecture will also address the issue of dieting and the long-term ineffectiveness of these types of eating strategies.

“It’s important to listen to your body and to be healthy on an overt level without focusing on dieting for a week.  It’s more about the whole picture,” Jamgochian said. “If you try to diet for a couple of weeks, you might be successful in losing a couple of pounds, but in the long run, you’re going to gain it all back and it won’t be helpful to your body at all.”

The event will begin at 7 p.m. and include a raffle for gift cards to the bookstore to encourage students to ask questions.


A version of this article appeared on page 5 of the May 8th, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus