Campus Life / Health

On-campus residents can maintain healthy diets at Norfolk State

Photo by Ian Williams.

by Ian Williams

As a college student, it is important to maintain healthy habits of living to put the body in good condition for the day ahead of them and the future. One of the most important ways students at Norfolk State University can prepare themselves is by controlling what they eat. What students put into their bodies and when plays a big part in how they function. Time Magazine reporter Alexandra Sifferlin emphasized the importance of arguably the most important meal of the day.

“According to the scientists, skipping breakfast may make you hungrier and more likely to eat larger meals, which leads to a surge in blood sugar,” said Sifferlin. “Eating in the morning — and what you eat — is important for setting your blood-sugar pattern for the rest of the day.”

According to Time, eating at proper intervals is not only important to maintain mental health, but it is necessary to maintain physical health. Spartans who normally miss a meal, usually overcompensate in the next, which is where all other health issues emerge. This may affect the attention of students in the teaching space by causing them to feel sick, losing focus due to excessive hunger, or having to miss class.

Typical NSU classes begin at 8 o’clock. Scott/ Dozier Dining Hall, the campus resident’s main café, opens at 7 o’clock allowing students to be able to catch an early meal. Proper eating can easily be achieved if students know what they are putting in their bodies.

Residing Spartans can eat responsibly at multiple locations on campus such as The Student Center (Chick-fil-A, and Tropical Smoothie), Spartan Station, Starbucks, Mobile Munchies, Wilson Hall Café, West Campus Dining Hall, and Scott/ Dozier Dining Hall. All times are posted at

“Home is where the food is. Here at NSU Campus Dining, we want our students to feel at home and think of your dining hall as a place you can take a load off,” Norfolk State University Dining says on its website. “Enjoy different events and theme nights, monthly specials, and an array of decadent food.”

Nutritional facts on all foods prepared by the campus can be found on the dining website. They also inform students about what food is being offered on what day and special events that are approaching.

Dr. Cynthia Burwell is a professor on campus in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science, and is also the director for the NSU Center for Minority Health Disparity.

“It’s all about choice,” said Burwell. “Students have to view the landscape to see what’s available… and getting educated too, about the choices that they do make.”

According to Dr. Burwell, it is important to know where foods on campus are to fit necessary eating goals. She stressed that if students want to be healthy, they should not consume Chick-fil-A every day. She also gave a few tips on what type of foods to look for.

“Fresh is always the best, frozen is the next choice that you can make and stay away from the can. The can is high in sodium,” said Burwell. “We should look at it as a pie… most of the foods we put on our plate is going to be your vegetables, and then you’re going to have your choice of carbohydrates, rice and things like that, white rice is always not a good choice, and then there should be a separate part for the protein, and the protein should be no larger than your fist.”

She suggests that NSU students stay away from fatty, red meats and processed foods.

For more information go to and search “My Plate.” The data is published by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and describes modern details on portion control.

Spartans that can control what goes on their plates and in their bodies are guaranteed to be more successful in the classroom and have a better student life.