The Nutritional Mythbusters event shared useful information about popular health products among college students. Photos by Dylan Moroses.

Dylan Moroses

Who ever thought that being a vegetarian might actually make you less healthy than somebody who eats meat?

Students and faculty gathered in the Prince George’s Room of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland Monday afternoon to learn about food-related misconceptions for Nutritional Mythbusters, brought to campus by the UMD Society of Inquiry and UMD Food Science Club.

“We wanted to address a few topics in nutrition that a lot of people don’t know much about,” said Mary Mirvis, president of the Society of Inquiry. “We also wanted to collaborate with the Food Science Club to incorporate people who are passionate about these issues.”

There were seven separate tables set up in the Prince George’s Room, each with its own presentation and message. The presentations provided an interactive way to learn about nutritional myths.

“These are things I feel college kids especially use very often,” said Tanya Paksad, president of the Food Science Club. “Energy drinks are the go-to for exams, but do students really know if they are helping or hurting themselves?”

Jared Turetsky, the College Bowl chair for the Food Science Club, created a presentation about sugar substitutes and set up a lemonade tasting station where tasters could compare and contrast different sugar and sugar substitutes.

“I would advise people to be prepared,” he said. “Every day try and have a general game plan, because when you’re prepared to eat you’re going to eat something that’s better for you. Also, fruits have natural sugars, so eating those will keep you healthy and take the edge off of a sugar craving.”

The presentation that always had a crowd around it dealt with energy drinks, which Paksad headed. All kinds of energy drinks are sold at convenience stores around campus.

“Mixing energy drinks and alcohol, like jagerbombs, chasing shots with Red Bull, taking caffeine pills while drinking is something that a lot of college kids do,” Paksad said. “What that does is it masks your intoxication level so you don’t feel as drunk as you are, which can increase risks of stronger alcohol poisoning and impulsive behaviors.”

There was also a presentation on organic farming, the risks of high fructose corn syrup and the effectiveness of multivitamins.

“Multivitamins are okay but are not the best source for vitamins and minerals,” said Kwan Yang, an officer of the Food Science Club. “Natural food sources are the best ways to get nutrients. You can’t expect to get all your nutrition from just one pill.”

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