by Taylor Mitchell
During my first week on the UCF campus, I noticed that many organizations are constantly raising money for various charities that are meant to make the world a better place. Throughout the semester, I noticed more and more of this, particularly in pseudo bake sales and special events held at restaurants. Students line the sidewalks and stand on corners selling various goods for philanthropic causes.
I applaud the sororities and fraternities that are consistently initiating efforts to make the money for their cause. However, what gives me pause is much of the food they sell is not healthy. Buying a simple Dunkin’ Donuts glazed donut contains approximately six grams of saturated fat, 30% of the recommended daily value. Chase the donut with an energy drink like a Rockstar and you will have consumed 260 empty calories and 160 milligrams (that’s a lot) of caffeine. The mixture of high saturated fat, calorie, and caffeine content create a perfect recipe for life-threatening diseases.
The food and drinks that are so readily available to students via these booths are nutritional garbage. The social pressure to buy these snacks for a better cause encourage students to develop unhealthy habits, which can potentially lead to serious conditions later in life, such as heart disease.
After realizing how selling these items will increase heart disease, I began to wonder if the ends justified the means. Is it possible that these philanthropies meant to improve members of our society do more damage by increasing the mortality rate?
It is ironic that, in the process of trying to prevent death from one disease, we increase the probability of dying from an entirely different disease. Organizations should change the way they offer a incentive for fundraising. An apple or a bottle of water sounds like a much better alternative. Even most fast food restaurants offer alternative choices to fries.
It is our responsibility as student consumers to take action. Isn’t there a way to raise money for good causes and not jeopardize our health? If not, be generous with a donation, and tell them to hold the donut.