By Melissa Joyce
An epidemic has readily spread all over our country, like butter on toast.
With portliness on the rise, health risks are also climbing. From heart disease to high blood pressure, bad health habits continue to claim lives like clockwork.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 17 percent of Americans ages 2-19 and 35 percent of adults are obese.
These statistics inspired this year’s Common Book, Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation,” selected by the college’s Common Book Committee.
“It won by a landslide,” said Pebble Barberro, co-chair of the committee said of the vote. “I think it will make students take a harder look at what they eat and hopefully make some positive changes,” she said. That’s our goal for the fall semester.”
Dean of Academic Enrichment Liz Nichols said there are 223 sections reading the Common Book.
“Our goal is for the book to be interdisciplinary,” she said. “The more faculty feels comfortable putting it into their curriculum, the better it is.”
This year’s theme is “You are what you eat.” The highlight is a weight loss contest called Lose to Win, which is inspired by the T.V. show “The Biggest Loser.”
The goal of all Common Book activities is to help staff and students develop long-term habits of healthy living.
“I just don’t want to eat fast food anymore. I want to feel better about myself,” Spanish major Carolina Mancera said. “I’ve already lost five pounds eating healthier, and when I heard about the Lose to Win competition, I said, ‘Why not? I’ll give it a try.’”
Initial weigh-ins were held Sept. 6-7 at the health center, and they will continue throughout the semester
The final weigh-ins will take place Dec. 6-7. The top male and female students will win an iPad.
The top male and female staff members will win a premier parking spot.
For more on the Common Book and related activities, visit the campus website. It is packed with useful information for writing book reports and finding events and activities about the Lose to Win competition. Links to various sites, videos and important dates are also there for your convenience.
Students are encouraged to watch for upcoming Common Book activities, such as screenings of “Food Inc.” and “Supersize Me,” boot camps and special guests, including nutritionist Betty Murray.