Peer Nutrition Advisors offer science-proven diet advice

Students exercise at the SLC to promote physical health while in school. Lariat File Photo

By Phoebe Alwine | Reporter

Baylor’s Wellness Center offers Peer Nutrition Advisors to its community. The Peer Nutrition Advisement Program is comprised of students majoring in Nutrition Sciences with a concentration in Pre-Dietetics. With supervision from a registered dietitian, the students provide basic nutrition advisement to the Baylor community.

For a $10 fee, advisors meet for three one-hour sessions. During these meetings, advisors analyze one’s diet, assess dietary goals, base the recommended diet upon lifestyle and educate on proper nutrition based on scientific facts.

Stan Wilfong, senior lecturer in Family and Consumer Sciences, program coordinator of Nutrition Sciences and registered dietitian mentor to peer nutrition advisors, said he began his journey in nutrition because of his love for science.

Wilfong said many people get confused by new trends regarding health fads or diets said to be the healthiest option. However, he said nutrition has proven facts.

“The fake news can steer people in the wrong direction, giving them false hope in diets that are not healthy,” Wilfong said.

Science plays a major role in the advisors’ dietary analyses. Wilfong said that science is the foundation of nutrition because it explains what a registered dietitian should recommend for an individual.

“We deal strictly with basic, healthy diets,” Wilfong said.

Houston senior Macy Diulus, a peer nutrition advisor, explained how the advisors decide on nutrient-filled diets for the Baylor community. She said they base decisions on variables such as age, amount of physical exercise and the goals of the individual.

“We make sure what we are saying is research and evidence based,” Diulus said. “We use everything we’ve learned in class and reflect that back during the meetings.”

Wilfong said students come in hoping to find ways to avoid the ‘freshman 15’ or how to properly put together a nutritious plate. Faculty and staff sign up to learn how to balance work with staying healthy.

“[Peer Nutrition Advisors] base things off of ‘My Plate,’” which is just a generic five main food groups source,” Diulus said. “We kind of make sure that they’re getting all those food groups into their diet.”

When meeting with the peer advisors, one will gain knowledge on healthy food options, learn basic nutrition skills and develop healthy ways to lose weight or stay fit.

Houston senior Jordan Meyer, lead peer nutrition advisor, said each peer advisor strictly focuses on finding the most suitable nutrition plan for clients, and they pride themselves on working to the best of their ability for Baylor’s nutrition department.

“Our mission is to help the people of Baylor live healthier, happier lives through learning good nutrition habits,” Meyer said.