Buying a trendy diet book and eliminating carbohydrates are just
a couple of the diet plans students and young people are using to
cut pounds fast.
With so many diets available to consumers today, people are
“joining the revolution.”
Trendy diets like these may appeal to students because they are
inexpensive and a speedy way to attain a desired look.
Ernie Chavez, chair of the psychology department, said diets
like the one by Robert Atkins and the “The South Beach Diet” are
quick fixes that appeal to young people’s desire to maintain a
healthy looking figure, male or female.
“We want the easy fixes and gimmicks to lose weight,” he said.
“We are so weight-obsessed.”
Chavez is concerned that students may be picking up a quick diet
book because they think they can just eat the way it recommends,
when in actuality it takes more than that, he said.
Tyler Albert, a junior open option seeking business major, uses
the “Body for Life” diet by Bill Phillips because it “isn’t very
Some students using the low-carbohydrate miracle diets find them
not only easy but also cheap.
“Students don’t usually have a lot of food,” Chavez said.
“Eating healthy is expensive, so it is difficult for below-average
Individuals diet for a variety of reasons, Chavez said. Whether
a student is participating in a program like the Atkins Diet or
cutting down on the infamous carbohydrates it discourages, they are
trying to work toward an ideal. That ideal is aimed at health
reasons or attractiveness, he said.
Linsey Nance, junior organizational management major, diets
because it makes her feel healthy. Nance tries to eat more healthy
foods in an effort to stay fit.
“I don’t like the word ‘diet.’ I consider the way I eat a
habit,” she said. “When I eat healthy I feel better about myself.
“I eat and work out the way I do because I feel bad about myself
when I don’t,” he said. “I balance out my protein, carbs and
vegetables and avoid carbohydrates before I go to bed.”
Rather than cut out carbohydrates, he diets and exercises
regularly to maintain the body type that he has worked hard
Social pressures and picture-perfect media images are what
Chavez said urges the desires of some students to obtain “the
perfect body” through dieting.
“A lot of people go to college and gain weight. I don’t want to
be one of those people,” Albert said. “I feel bad when I don’t stay
with my diet.”
Albert said that although people have noticed he is in good
shape, he will keep working at it until he is completely
While there is stress on both men and women to look a certain
way, Chavez admits that young women are more often targeted.
“I feel that maintaining a slim figure is expected by both
society and my peers,” said Laurie Dowd, junior business marketing
Chavez said that students want to conform to fit in with their
peers around them. “Women, especially in the college age group,
often times reinforce each other’s need for dieting,” Chavez
Though she will continue to keep up on her diet and figure, Dowd
said she is “happier when not watching her weight so closely.”
Chavez said students might be trying new diets because they are
participating in a different lifestyle than they were before
enrolling in college.
“New sedentary activities can cause people to gain weight
quickly,” he said. That weight, he said, can be shed more easily at
a younger age.
Programs like the one from Atkins aren’t likely to be a lifetime
fix, however. Students who eat healthy and get regular exercise are
more likely to fend off the consequences of a poor diet for a
lifetime, Chavez said.
“I eat the way I do because I don’t have to worry about all the
counting. I don’t have to do anything really,” Nance said. “When my
attitude is healthy, as well as my diet, I have a better body image