Students deserve healthier food options in Waco

By Assoah Ndomo | Photographer

For the freshmen who are now arriving at school, the freshman 15 is not a joke. People wonder how it’s possible to gain weight when there is an adequate amount of walking incorporated into our daily schedules, but it all stems from the food.

Once you gain your freshman 15, you may instinctively try to lose it, but it’s hard when the nearest restaurant hub is concentrated with fast food that’s filled with oils and protein chains I can’t even pronounce.

For starters, let’s define the term “healthy.” A healthy meal would be balanced with a minimal amount of added ingredients — such as sugar and fats — which promotes good health.

“Healthy” does not have to be a purely vegan or vegetarian meal. I think Chipotle is a justifiable option. Panera Bread and McAlister’s Deli are decent options as well, but they are farther away from campus than Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger and Whataburger. Baylor’s dining halls also have a number of healthy resources.

Nicknamed 'the greasepit', this cluster of over 20 restaurants is closer to Baylor University's campus than any local grocery store. Katy Mae Turner | Photographer
Nicknamed 'the greasepit', this cluster of over 20 restaurants is closer to Baylor University's campus than any local grocery store. Katy Mae Turner | Photographer

I’m not saying fast food isn’t convenient, but there have to be at least three healthier alternatives available that will help people feel better about themselves when they decide to eat out. Being flooded with greasy foods doesn’t make the food enjoyable; while eating the food, you’re in disbelief over filling your body with unnecessary nutrients.

Imagine you finish a workout and don’t have any groceries at home, so you decide to eat out, only to remember the few options near you are going to negate the progress you made in the gym. This is a serious issue, as seeing your body change can cause insecurities and a loss of confidence. There are many studies that have proven there is a correlation between diet and mental health. Not only are we hindering our progress to achieve healthier bodies, but we’re also leading ourselves down a road of depression and high stress.

It seems that unhealthier food options are highly advocated for students, and I don’t blame the organization of the restaurants. Those locations probably generate the most revenue. But all in all, there should be healthier options near us to benefit student well-being as a whole.