Campus celebrates nutrition month with screening of ‘Forks Over Knives’
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 01:03
The idea of using food as a method to alter overall health is not a new concept. From Hippocrates to Thomas Edison, many have been quoted supporting the benefits of proper nutrition as a way to combat diseases. Film maker Lee Fulkerson agrees with this notion in his film “Forks Over Knives.”
As part of National Nutrition Month a group of ISU students and faculty gathered Wednesday in an effort to spread awareness of the importance of healthy eating.
“What we choose to fuel our bodies with may have a direct effect on our mind, body and spirit,” said Crystal Durrill, a dietetic graduate student. “Being informed about nutrient-rich foods, reading food labels, proper food safety, portion control and exercise are all important parts of helping improve or maintain overall health.”
The main event of the presentation was the showing of a documentary entitled “Forks Over Knives.” According to the film’s website it examines the claim that many of the “degenerative diseases” that affect American society can be avoided by choosing to eat a non-animal based and processed foods diet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. One-third of U.S. citizens are obese, and medical costs for diseases associated with obesity in 2008 were estimated at $147 billion.
According to the film, many of these illnesses that plague America can be avoided and in some instances reversed by switching to a whole foods, plant-based diet. The film follows two researchers, T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn.
They examine the impact the animal-based diet has on the overall health of individuals it was discovered that many health ailments such as heart disease and diabetes could be avoided by adapting a plant-based diet.
In addition, various patients diagnosed with a degenerative disease were taught how altering their diet can improve their health much more than taking prescription medication.
Durrill said the screening of the movie was not to promote a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but to spark conversation about making smarter choices when it came to nutrition and to get more informed about their own health. She recognizes that there can be inherent bias in documentaries.
“We are the frontiers to better health,” said Crystal Orly, a dietetic graduate. “It only makes sense that we educate ourselves as much as we can about exercise, nutrition, and environmental concerns so we can help shape up this state and this country.”
Durrill said that currently, she and Orly are in the process of revitalizing the ISU Food and Nutrition Club to continue to spread nutrition awareness on campus. Seventeen students have expressed an interest in joining thus far and it is projected that the group will have its first meeting sometime in April.
Durrill said a Food and Nutrition Club was started in 2000 as a professional club for various students with interest in food management, safety and nutrition.
“Nutrition is so important because it is the medicine that feeds our bodies,” Orly said. “We need to stop the fast food, Styrofoam using, pill popping mentality and just have another apple.”
Durrill said the club aims to educate members on nutrition through various activities and meetings.
Orly added that it is easy to indulge on college campuses and that students need to be more mindful of what they eat.
“To bring awareness about nutrition is always a positive step,” Durril said. “Some students may already be well informed and some may not. The Food and Nutrition Club would like to increase awareness of nutrition education not just for the student body but for the community and form partnerships with other organizations on campus involved in improving overall health.”