After waking up from Thanksgiving dinner
to find that half a turkey lives somewhere in your intestinal track, you either:
a) Vow to continue its legacy forever by sending its protein straight to your biceps via some arm curls.
b) Sift through the trash for the wrapping’s nutritional facts, check how many Weight Watchers points it is worth and promptly start loathing yourself.
Which course of action would you take? According to a recent study by the University of Nebraska, that depends on your gender.
The survey found that women are more likely to try dieting, while men are more inclined
to hit the weight room in order to curb the onset of college weight gain.
The study questioned 105 male and 181 female undergraduates from the University of Nebraska and the results were published in the October 2006 issue of “Journal of the American Dietetic Association.”
The report found that more men than women have never tried a diet – 79 percent of men and 66 percent of women.
“I’ve never known a guy that was on a diet,” said Jessica Sibelman, a junior music performance major.
She said men seem to have a much higher
metabolism and gravitate toward exercise because they want to build more muscle.
In today’s culture most men see dieting as a feminine practice, according to Mary Brier, a sophomore sociology major.
“If a guy was on a diet, he would probably be too embarrassed to tell his friends,” Brier said.
With fad diets such as Atkins and South Beach, the role of carbohydrates in the average female diet has been diminishing. The study reported that nearly 50 percent of women felt that it was important to strictly limit carbohydrate consumption whereas most men felt that it wasn’t necessary.
More than half of the women questioned felt they weren’t at their ideal body weight and that they needed to lose weight. Many women who are of high school and college ages tend to struggle with their weight, according to kinesiology professor William E. Oddou.
“There are more societal pressures on women to be thin,” Oddou said. “As a result you find more females who are on calorie-restricted diets than men.”
Sophomore business major Charles Morrison said it’s very difficult to maintain a healthy diet in college.
“I eat a lot of junk food; a lot of fast food, and a lot of food from the [Student Center],” Morrison said. Never eating as much junk food at home, Morrison attributes his unhealthy diet to living on his own and not having a lot of money.
Dave D’Addario, a senior cross country runner, empathizes with the college student who is running low on fuel and cash.
“If you’re a student, you don’t have enough money to buy good food,” he said. “It’s so easy to go to McDonald’s and buy a dinner for $2.”
Running every day of the week, D’Addario, however, cannot understand people who don’t make time for exercise. “Most people are only in class for three or four hours a day at the most, how hard is it to spend 30 minutes at the gym?”
So why are women throwing in the towel at the gym and resorting to dieting tactics to lose weight? Brier feels that women may not like getting “sweaty and gross” and restricting what you eat is just easier.
Diet and exercise must go hand in hand according to Brier.
“I find it so much easier just to exercise,” Brier said. “Plus it keeps me much more conscious of what I’m eating.”
Although many college students employ various techniques to lose weight, Oddou said the most efficient way to lose weight is through exercise.
“You can maintain an optimal weight more so through exercise than through diet alone,” Oddou said.
While he feels that exercising is essential, Oddou realizes that maintaining a nutritious diet is important.
“The calories you bring in and the calories
you expend are of equal importance,” he said.
Rachel Madel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.