BC Dining is committed to ensuring access to balanced, nutritious, and delicious meals. Whether you are an omnivore or are vegan/vegetarian, we have a variety of food options in our campus eateries that include local, sustainable foods. We also provide services to help you meet your nutritional needs, like nutritional counseling and meal accommodations for students with food allergies, celiac disease, or other medical nutritional needs.
Variety, moderation, and adequacy are all necessary for balanced eating.
Enjoyment and satisfaction during eating are important.
A balanced eating pattern contains foods from all food groups, with no emphasis placed on one food group over others. The benefits of a balanced eating pattern include ensuring adequate energy and nutrients for daily needs while fostering longterm health and disease prevention.
Balanced eating is achievable at any weight. Being in a larger body does not mean someone is unhealthy or overeats. In fact, nearly half of people who are in the “overweight” category of the Body Mass Index (BMI) are metabolically healthy, and about 30 percent of “normal” weight individuals are not. The belief that BMI is a proxy for health contributes to weight stigma.
Eating the same meal every day can get old. Our taste buds are smart, and they get fatigued with the same tastes. We can crave certain foods if we have no variety, leading us to sometimes overeat and feel guilty as a result. Variety is key to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies. For instance, if we don’t eat a variety of foods—like firm tofu, cheese, yogurt, milk, or milk substitutes—getting enough calcium can be challenging.
Have colorful foods on your plate. The more color, the more diversity of nutrients are on the plate. Phytonutrients, like flavonoids that contribute to the blue in blueberries, possess anti-inflammatory properties.
- Avoid using food rules (e.g., "If I have bread at lunch, I can’t eat bread at dinner.").
- Give yourself full permission to eat all foods. This includes "fun" foods.
- Be mindful of how satisfying foods are. When you’re mindful about sensory pleasure from food, you feel satisfied with a moderate portion.
- Make it a point to enjoy your eating experience. Set aside time to eat and be with people you enjoy eating with. Mindful eating can help improve your satisfaction and moderate portions.
Adequacy generally means eating three meals and two to three snacks per day, including dessert for college students, and incorporating carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fat into each meal and snack. Adequacy doesn't mean using food choices or amounts of food consumed to manipulate your weight or compensate for exercise or drinking behaviors.
If someone is not eating adequately or has an erratic eating pattern, it can be difficult to rely on hunger because our bodies will not get hungry if they aren’t used to eating.
Access nutritional analysis information and ingredients listings through the online menus for each dining hall.
Dining Services offers consultations with nutritionist, Kate Sweeney, MS, RD, LDN, on a variety of topics—including healthy eating, vegan/vegetarian eating, food allergies, and health concerns like gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, disordered eating, and more.
What are eating disorders and disordered eating?
Eating disorders are a way to self-medicate. They're not a choice. Usually, there is a trigger—e.g., trauma, going on a diet, or a history of neglect—that initiates the onset of an eating disorder. In addition to triggering events, genetic factors like perfectionism and environmental factors contribute to eating disorder development. Disordered eating includes some components of eating disorders, but without meeting diagnostic criteria. Someone with disordered eating may be restricting their food intake but not have a distorted body image.
What causes them?
Dieting is one trigger that can lead to disordered eating and eating disorders. In fact, the National Eating Disorders Association reports that 35 percent of “normal dieters” progress into disordered eating and as many as 25 percent advance to full-blown eating disorders.
College students are at high risk for disordered eating or eating disorders—especially if dieting. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, the average age of onset is 19 years old for anorexia nervosa, 20 years old for bulimia nervosa, and 25 years old for binge eating disorder. Research shows that 4.4 percent to 5.9 percent of teens entering college have a preexisting, untreated eating disorder.
Eating disorders don't discriminate. They occur among every ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, and sexuality. Social media impacts eating behaviors, and may be triggering for someone with EDs or DE. Research shows that use of Instagram, for instance, is linked to increased disordered eating symptoms.
What should I do if I or someone I know is struggling with them?
People struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating need to be referred to appropriate medical professionals. Getting help soon after onset is associated with higher recovery rates.
If you have a food allergy, schedule an appointment with our nutritionist, Kate Sweeney, to learn about safely dining on campus with a food allergy.