The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Healthy options pay the price on campus

It’s 11:48 a.m. and my mind has lost its never ending battle with boredom, which has resulted in my eager anticipation to spring from my desk in my Sierra Hall classroom for the exit door. My next destination after my professor sets me free after what seems like an eternity of patience, which in reality was just two minutes of my time, is a much needed food break.

Like most college students, my days at school have become calculated and routine.

Sit in a class for an hour, which is subsequently followed by taking a food break. But like most college students, I have found myself in a nutritional and economical dilemma in trying to sustain my energy to go on with my day.

My options during the lunch hour have come down to eating healthy and being unsatisfied or eating unhealthy and having a little more change left over for another quick snack later in the day.

In recent years, the emphasis on living a healthy and nutritional lifestyle has never been as evident as it is today. Fast food giants like McDonald’s now offer healthy options, which include substituting a high sugar content fountain drink for a bottled water.

Despite these options, the lack of variety found at these fast-food restaurants has led many, including myself, to order a meal I like versus a meal I know will keep me healthy in the long run.

This may seem like the change many nutritional advocates have been championing for years since a variety of studies have reported nearly 50 percent of Americans are losing the battle of obesity but the change may not be realistic working in a college setting.

The average CSUN student is most likely commuting back and forth and has no time or money to purchase healthier options. College students want the options that are the least expensive and the least time consuming to wait for.

In the Matador Bookstore Complex, a variety of fast food restaurants can be found including Panda Express, Burger King and El Pollo Loco. All three restaurants offer options for the health-conscious student. But these options hardly stand near their unhealthy counterparts in taste, variety and price.

At Burger King, their interpretation of a healthy option includes a chicken garden salad, which includes the same 330-calorie chicken tendercrisp patties used in their tendercrisp sandwich. Why waste your lunch time trying to make yourself believe you’re eating healthy when in reality you’re eating a tendercrisp sandwich without the bun?

Are we supposed to fool ourselves into believing that the so-called healthier option is truly the healthier option? The tendercrisp garden salad actually ends up being healthier than the regular chicken sandwich. The garden salad has 410 calories versus the tendercrisp sandwich, which has 790 calories.

The numbers do prove these options are better for you, but after closer observation, many people would disagree the taste of the healthier option fails.

Food is supposed to sustain your body and satisfy your taste buds. Many college students will find themselves reaching for that greasy burger rather than a healthy bland salad if they are not satisfied by the taste of it. This seems to be the problem my peers and I are facing.

CSUN has taken many steps to insure that students are eating healthy. Inside the various food courts found on campus, the option of consuming organic food is present, including the sale of Naked Juice. But many, including myself, complain of the prices at which health is sold on campus.

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