Dressed in casual jeans and a vintage-style shirt, it was easy to think “The Dorm Room Diet” author Daphne Oz was a college student at her book-signing event last Friday in the GW Bookstore.
That’s because she is a college student. In addition to being a published author, Oz is a full-time student in her junior year at Princeton University.
The GW Bookstore is just one of many locations Oz has visited to promote her book. She often skips class on Thursdays and travels over the weekend to do promotions and has made other area appearances at Georgetown and American Universities.
After years of offering advice about dieting and healthy living to her friends, Oz decided to put her wisdom down on paper in the form of an easy-to-read self-help guide. With input from nutritionists, Oz wrote “The Dorm Room Diet” to educate college students everywhere about healthy living and avoiding what some consider the inevitable “freshman 15.”
Student Health Services Outreach Coordinator Susan Haney said although she finds college females voice their concerns about weight gain more often, it is a widespread problem that affects males as well. She said stress and social interaction are significant causes of weight gain among Americans.
“Research shows that because Americans have long hours, people often make unhealthy food choices,” Haney said. “Food goes along with socialization.”
Stress and late nights are two common realities for many hard-working GW students, and when students are faced with these challenges, some indulge in unhealthy food consumption.
Melissa Hendricks, assistant director for fitness and wellness at the Lerner Health and Wellness Center, said she has definitely noticed weight gain among college freshmen at other schools where she has worked. This is her first year at GW.
Hendricks said she is pleased with the variety of food choices GW’s campus has to offer.
“I think GW provides healthy alternatives (to commonly consumed unhealthy food), but it is up to the students to choose them,” Haney said.
Because weight gain and obesity are common proponents of heart disease, Haney said she believes an individual’s college years are a prime time to begin habits of healthy eating and regular exercise. She added that getting enough sleep is also important in combating weight gain.