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Silly doctors, health is for kids

Joey Falco | Sunday, September 19, 2004

I am sick and tired of all this talk about being “healthy.” In order to be “healthy,” college students are constantly ordered to eat this, not eat this, do this exercise, play this sport and at the same time not stick this finger down this throat in this bathroom stall after this meal.

Where, then, do we draw the line between eating healthy and eating disorder? How, then, are we supposed to exercise properly while balancing a full load of classes, jobs, clubs and designated hangover time? And why, then, if a known cause of obesity is late night snacking, does this University tempt us like a Biblical serpent with delicious hot dogs every midnight at a price that would allow a Kathy Lee Gifford sweatshop worker to have seconds?

Clearly, no warm-blooded, omnivorous human being enrolled at this University can possibly live up to the health standards placed upon us by the so-called “doctors” who specialize in this type of nutrition. It’s kind of like being the short, chubby, uncoordinated, white younger brother of Michael Jordan – you’re just never going to live up to anyone’s expectations, and will probably just end up becoming one of those guys who tries to Roofie freshman girls in order to satisfy an inferiority complex. Obviously, this is not the sort of psychological treatment that nutritionists should be levying upon the minds of already-disturbed college students, and it has to stop now.

For example, a close examination of the fitness levels suggested by these “experts” reveals several inconsistencies with the Notre Dame collegiate lifestyle. The biggest problem, of course, is this thing that members of the medical profession refer to as “cardiovascular exercise,” which apparently manifests itself in the form of jogging, aerobics, basketball or soccer. Unfortunately, it has been scientifically proven that the average Notre Dame student will never be able to participate in any of these activities on a regular basis.

Jogging has become an impossibility due to the exponential rise in swan excrement around the lake paths. Aerobics require bright spandex clothing, which as we and the Princeton Review both know, will only result in all sorts of rude “Fine by me” comments on the walk over to Rolfs. Basketball may be fun for some people, but after being shutout in the first round of Bookstore by five drunk girls wearing pirate costumes, you wouldn’t want to play the stupid sport ever again either. Interhall soccer will obviously entail playing against several Latino students, but the human shin can only take so many kicks before it loses too much blood to continue supporting the rest of the body. If we cannot possibly live up to their fitness standards, you would think that we could at least come close to matching their levels of healthy eating. Well, think again, because after subjecting myself to several days of cruel, torturous experimentation, I have discovered that the average Notre Dame student has a better chance of shot gunning a beer on the altar during a televised Basilica mass than staying within the 2500-calorie daily limit set by nutritionists for people our age.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the twenty-four hour period from Friday to Saturday afternoon on an average football weekend. Without going into too much detail, let’s assume that a student (we’ll call him Chip) decides to celebrate the beginning of the weekend by drinking a forty-ounce bottle of a fine malt liquor like Mickey’s (523 calories). Still unable to quench his thirst, he consumes another bottle (523 calories) and then heads off to the pep rally to support his football team. Later that night, after a manly 1000-calorie dinner in the dining hall, we can assume that Chip goes to a party and over the course of the night manages to drink ten cans of Keystone Light (104 calories each), a bottle of Guinness Extra Stout (153 calories), and while hitting on a girl across the street, three pina coladas (342 calories each).

Bright and early the next morning, Chip finds himself outside tailgating for the Irish football game, and by ten he has already knocked back six cans of Keystone Light (104 calories each) and three doughnut sticks smuggled from South Dining Hall (316 calories each). Four hours, nine beers, a boxed wine chug, an Irish Car Bomb, three hamburgers, two hotdogs, a brownie and over 3,000 calories later, Chip finally enters Notre Dame Stadium after completing an amazing twenty-four hour binge that included the consumption of 8,825 calories.

As you can see, this completely average Notre Dame student, taking part in completely average Notre Dame activities, wound up ingesting the daily caloric equivalent of a pregnant polar bear. Couple with this the already-proven impossibility of consistent exercise on this campus, and the typical Domer like Chip is faced with quite a dietary dilemma: Does he still make it to quarter dogs on Sunday night?

Joey Falco is a sophomore political science major. His column appears every other Monday. He can be

contacted at jfalco@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily of The Observer.