Obesity at the University of Mississippi

Mississippi is considered the fattest state in the nation, and Ole Miss has its share of heavy people.

Nutritionist Melinda Valliant teaches at the university and says obesity is an issue .

“When we look at the campus as a whole, yes, it is a problem,” Valliant said.

According to Medical News Today Mississippi has had the highest percentage of people suffering from obesity for five years in a row.  The percentage stands now at 32.5 percent.

Valliant estimates that 11 percent of students and 34 percent of faculty at Ole Miss struggle with obesity.  She blames fast food, which she says is “cheap” and “loaded with calories and unloaded with nutrition.”

Several locations on campus are trying to offer healthier options and smarter ways to eat. The Johnson Commons provides calorie counting charts on the buffet above every entree they serve.

The University has also expanded campus dining options with  Einstein Brothers Bagels, which offers a variety of healthy menu items.

Though progress is being made, Valliant says that “the problem keeps getting younger and younger,” and she expects the rate of  obesity in Mississippi will continue to rise.

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~ by acware1 on February 23, 2010.

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