Christina Favuzzi

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Students wondering how healthy the food is that they are eating on campus are now able to add it up using Campus Dining’s new nutritional calculator.

Cal Poly’s Campus Dining registered dietitian, Megan Coats, told Mustang News: “We really wanted a way for students to be able to interact with something and be able to make healthy choices in the easiest way for them possible.”

Last June, Education and Web Services and Cal Poly Dining came together to create a new way for students to look at nutritional facts of campus food.

Campus Dining launched their new nutrition calculator last week.

“Students definitely have been wanting nutritional information more readily and more available,” Coats said. “This generation is a lot more nutrition savvy than they once were so it’s our way of doing advertising and education for the students just so they can get their hands on their own information.”

According to Coats, many universities have implemented commercialized programs that include a nutrition calculator, but at Cal Poly, it has turned into a “Learn by Doing” experience.

“We were lucky enough to have some really amazing students actually start up the program from scratch,” Coats said.

Computer science junior Luis Cuellar developed the calculator.

“In class we have a lot of theoretical stuff and a lot of in class assignments so when you actually get out there and work with real data and actually interact with users of software then you really start to appreciate the work that goes into that stuff, “ Cuellar said. “I’m happy that I went through with this and we completed this application.”

Dietetic intern Erin Heidenreich worked with students and got their feedback on the calculator before it launched.

Heidenreich told Mustang News: “I think it’s really important for students who are eating on campus every day, especially the freshmen and the meal locations that they are more knowledgeable about all the foods that they’re eating and now it’s easier for students who aren’t nutrition majors or don’t know much about food to get access to information.”

Users can filter information by location, nutrients and dietary preferences. The calculator has nutritional information for all the campus dining locations, including franchises like Subway and Einstein’s.

You can access the nutrition calculator by going to the Campus Dining website, clicking on the nutrition tab and there you will find a link to the calculator.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story ran under the headline “Campus Dining launches nutrition calendar.” It has since been modified to “Campus Dining launches nutrition calculator.”

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