According to the Food Research and Action Center, 68.5 percent of adults are overweight or obese, with 34.9 percent falling under obese. Obesity is classified as an excess amount of body fat and overweight is an excess amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat and water.
In an effort to educate the UCA community on health and weight, the dietician Emily Hays shared an informative presentation during x-period on Nov. 8 in the Student Health Center.
“The main reason for this event was to bring awareness to students and faculty that experience a lot of stress and they deal with their stress in ways that may not be healthy, such as overeating,” Hayes said. “I felt like that’s an issue that needs to addressed.”
During the presentation Hays explained different reasons for overeating, such as being emotional and seeking the feeling of control. When people are in situations they can’t control, they tend to eat more because they can control the food. Also emotional eating is a response to a stressful or a negative situation.
“The best way to overcome overeating is to be self-aware, like recognize how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, what emotions you may be experiencing,” she said. “Then how you can deal with those emotions other than food, maybe you can replace it with going for a walk or a run, taking a bath or getting pedicure.”
Overeating often occurs during holidays like thanksgiving, celebrations, while on vacation and it also refers to habitual excessive eating.
Hays hosts three or four health seminars each semester.
“I hold seminars based on whatever I feel is trending as far as nutrition. As well as concerns students and faculties bring to me,” Hays said. “I try to address those through my monthly newsletters and then seminars I host during the semesters.”
There were no vacant chairs at this seminar.
“We learned about the factors of obesity and what causes people to overeat. Also, learned a lot about myself, that I eat when I’m stressed, I don’t eat when I’m sad, or I sleep everything off,” Junior Oprah Egwim said. “Mrs. Emily was really nice and supportive about everybody’s feelings.”
Image by Lauren Swaim