Dietary Habits

Rabih Elkhodr

Keto, Atkins, Paleo, or even vegan. Are any of these terms familiar to you? In the past couple of years, social media has played a major role in spreading awareness towards healthy lifestyles and diets. A huge number of heath influencers have had a big impact on their followers regarding their eating choices and habits. Of course, the youth are the ones who are most influenced since they account for the biggest percentage of users of social media platforms. With such great number of young people attempting to follow a healthy lifestyle, a question comes to our minds: how much are universities helping young people adopt healthy lifestyles?

How much are Keto, Atkins, Paleo, and vegan diets supported in the university’s cafeteria? The answer is: not very much. According to Nadine Smaili, a popular nutritionist on social media, a person must eat 5 meals a day, three of which are big. “University students in particular should not skip their meals and must have them at specific times,” said Smaili. When I told her that I have my “manakish” daily from the university cafeteria, she said “NO! You must take your own homemade sandwiches with you to the university.” However, when I told her that sometimes I stay in the university from 8 am to 6 pm, she said “Whoa! You must take your homemade lunch with you.” Smaili opts that I have my own healthy “mloukhiye” rather than eat five strips of fried crispy chicken with a side of fries and coleslaw.

Awareness about healthy food is widely-spread nowadays. Places like universities should be the first to encourage switching towards healthy eating lifestyles. Luckily, our cafeteria already offers a daily dish for those who fancy homemade food. Nonetheless, updating the cafeteria menu by adding more healthy options is a must to let students maintain their dietary habits and choices, whether by having meals for vegans, or those who are lactose-intolerant, etc... Having diverse options in the place we spend most of our time is ideal for health enthusiasts.

We all love crispy strips, but let’s face it, we should love our health more.

- Khadija Chour
  Communication and Social Media Student