Ball State's Nutrition Lab offers help to faculty, staff

Topics: College of Applied Sciences and Technology, Human Resources

October 24, 2007

Tucked away in the Applied Technology Building is a laboratory from which every faculty and staff member can benefit.

It's the new Nutrition Assessment Lab, in which the staff reviews a person's medical conditions ranging from body fat analysis to blood pressure - and a lot more in between. The lab in room 203 has drop-in hours for employees three days a week, and the lab accepts appointments the other two days.

And best of all, it's free for any employee.

"We have a variety of services we can provide," said Carol Friesen, the lab's coordinator. "It depends on what a person needs or what they are concerned about. If they are concerned about cholesterol, we can provide a blood lipid profile that looks at cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides. If they need their blood glucose checked, we can do that. If they are concerned about osteoporosis, we can conduct a bone scan to determine their risk. And we offer dietary analysis and counseling for those concerned with their dietary habits."

The lab is a new addition to the dietetics program in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. It opened Oct. 2 using Lilly Foundation funding for its supplies, equipment and staff, which includes a specially trained graduate assistant and three undergraduates lab assistants.

Graduate assistant Amy Perkins noted the lab's offerings are intentionally broad so there is something to offer any employee.

"Our goal is to help the faculty and staff assess their nutrition-related habits and behaviors as well as give them a knowledge base that will help them make lifelong healthier food choices," Perkins said. "The long-term goal here is to help the Ball State community live a longer, more vibrant and higher quality of life."

Friesen agreed, noting that the counseling is targeted to what a person needs to feel healthier.

"This is an awesome opportunity for employees who are interested in improving their health and their quality of life," she said.

Currently, the lab is planning a mass screening for bone density from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 5-8. Employees are encouraged to make appointments for the 15-minute screenings by calling 765-285-4846, but drop-ins are welcome.

Otherwise, regular employee drop-in hours for any of the health services are:

  • Tuesday, noon to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, noon to 4 p.m.

Employees can make appointments on Mondays and Fridays by calling 765-285-4846.

For those interested in learning about various topics, the lab has a first Wednesday program from noon to 12:30 p.m. in the Applied Technology Building, room 203.

Upcoming topics include:

  • Nov. 7 - Healthy Eating for the Holidays
  • Jan. 16 - Weight Management Month: Read the Label; Set a Better Table
  • Feb. 6 - American Heart Month: Cholesterol and Trans Fat
  • March 5 - National Nutrition Month: The New Food Guide Pyramid
  • April 2 - Don't be an April Fool: Bone Up on Dairy.

Employees can sign up for an e-mail reminder by contacting Friesen at cfriesen@bsu.edu.

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