Students deserve calorie listings at all campus dining options

Editorial Cartoon for Tuesday, Oct. 1

THE ISSUE: Eating healthy in college is just plain hard. Many of us struggle to avoid picking up the extra pounds associated with our inevitable late-night Taco Bell visits. Anything that WKU can do to help its students stay fit ought to be done.

OUR STANCE: What we need is clarity. In order to hold ourselves accountable to what we eat, we need to know exactly what is in our food. Fresh Food Company has already taken great strides, but all WKU dining options should display the calorie count of their offered items.

Breakfast. Gym. Dorm. Class. Lunch. Study. Class. Dinner. Study. Social life. Netflix. Sleep.


When you put it all together, saying that college students are busy is an extreme understatement. However, some of this is preparing us for real life after we get out of this country club called college.

We’re certainly not complaining that our biggest preoccupations are which class to study for and where we might want to party on Thirsty Thursday, but calorie listings are one less thing WKU students should have to worry about in their busy lives.

Every restaurant on campus ought to display estimated calorie counts next to its menu items.

To be clear, this is not another article from a bunch of college kids complaining about the little responsibility we’re actually given.

This is about us taking more responsibility in our lives, not less.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over one third of all adults in the United States are obese and 17 percent of children and teenagers ages 2-19 are already obese.

As a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration started requiring calorie listings on menus for chain restaurants with 20 or more locations.

We’re certainly recognizing the need on a national level, and now the Herald is proposing we do something about righting this ship here at WKU — but we need help from the WKU administration and Aramark, the catering company that supplies WKU’s food.

We commend the fact that these measures have already been taken at Fresh Food Company. It’s nice to know exactly where you stand before you reach for that second plate of Italian sausage or eggplant parmesan, but that’s just a small drop in the bucket.

Of course, we recognize that merely listing how many calories there are in an Izzy’s burrito is not going to magically make us healthier, but for those who want to know, it should be available.

Plus, there’s something about knowing that you’re eating an entire day’s worth of calories in a single sitting that makes you think twice about getting extra breadsticks.