HealthFEST highlights good decision-making

By Sara Vargas

From free KIND snack bars to freshly squeezed orange juice from the Farm Store, Cal Poly Pomona students played games, sampled healthy snacks and learned about nutrition, exercise and responsible decision-making at the annual HealthFEST.

Hosted by Student Health and Counseling Services last Thursday, the event offered students the opportunity to learn about making good decisions in a fun and interactive way.

“The event advocates for healthy lifestyles by teaching students about what to do and not to do in certain situations that are related to eating and drinking,” said Jonathan Rangel, a HealthFEST volunteer and third-year industrial engineering student.

Yelling and screaming filled University Park during U-Hour as the Jungle Juice Cruise booth gave out fake Jell-O shots by reenacting peer pressure scenarios.

Those who were part of the booth held out fake Jell-O shots and persuaded students walking by to take one.

“We are here to teach students about what to do if they are ever caught in a situation where peer pressure is involved,” said Jennifer Lopez, a fifth-year chemical engineering student. “It is important to highlight these issues on a college campus.”

While Jell-O shots were being passed out, the Fact or Myth Booth tested students on nutrition facts and gave out prizes for participating.

Janice Tam, a fourth-year dietetics student and student assistant at SHCS, hopes students are taking their nutrition seriously.

“I want people to be more aware of their nutrition and about food in general,” said Tam. “There are a lot of misconceptions about food which need to be addressed.”

While at the booth, Aubrey Ackermann, a third-year psychology student, learned facts that she initially thought were myths.

“I learned about artificial sweeteners and how they aren’t all bad,” said Ackermann. “Plus I got a free water bottle.”

Promoting responsible drinking habits was another part of the event, which asked students to list their drinking habits.

Booths also featured activities which educated students on alcohol consumption and the realities of how much alcohol is in specific drinks.

Rochelle Sanchez, a first-year communication student and student assistant for University Housing Services, advises students to always listen to their bodies.

“You should stay hydrated and eat before you go out,” said Sanchez. “Making sure you have a DD [designated driver] is also important.”

Parking and Transportation Services also recommended a designated driver at their booth where they focused on the risks of drinking and driving.

Officers introduced the “Virtual Bar,” an application and website that gives students an idea about what their alcohol level is after drinking.

The app asks for one’s age, height, weight and the type of drink consumed.

It will then immediately inform the person what their alcohol level is and whether or not they are above the legal limit.

“It was interesting to see how much alcohol was in each drink,” said Ackermann. “It could be a useful resource for those to think about before they decide to get behind the wheel.”

Responsible drinking booths were also accompanied by Phi Upsilon Umicron’s booth.

The honor society’s booth educated students on eating healthy and taking the sugar and salt intake of certain foods into consideration before deciding on a meal.

The booth displayed examples and tested students by asking them to choose which meals from local fast food chains were the healthiest and unhealthiest based on the amount of salt, sugar and fat they contained.

Additionally, other booths at the event were the American Red Cross, the Veteran’s Resource Center, the Disability Resource Center, the Career Center, ASI Campus Recreation and CPP Dining.

Their goal was to promote active living by getting involved on campus.

“Today was more than just a hot day full of free stuff. It was about advocating for everyone’s well-being,” said Rangel. “We want everyone to be healthy and safe.”

Organizations and clubs held interactive booths for students to learn about health and wellness.

Dominick Batchi / The Poly Post

Organizations and clubs held interactive booths for students to learn about health and wellness.

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