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Old 18 September 2008, 12:18 AM
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Icon86 Princeton salads

Comment: I read somewhere that Princeton University had such a problem
with anorexic students who ate nothing but salad that they started to
spray the lettuce with protein.
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  #2  
Old 18 September 2008, 01:44 AM
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I heard the same thing about CU-Boulder, and from someone who had studied there. I think it was probably a UL in both cases. FWIW I have had a number of friends who went to Princeton and none of them ever mentioned this.
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Old 18 September 2008, 02:32 AM
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A few things:

Princeton does have a higher rate of anorexia than the general populace. The school believes (I believe rightly) that the reason for this is the type of person who is at risk for eating disorders is also the type of person who can excel in an intense academic program (i.e., they are perfectionists).

Here is one example of what I'm saying:

Quote:
In a 2004 survey of Princeton undergrads, over half of respondents reported feeling at least a little overweight. Looking around the campus, you’ll notice that nowhere near half of Princeton students are overweight. In fact, compared to the general population, residents of Princeton seem pretty thin. Society emphasizes the importance of physical appearance for success, a goal most college students strive for. Unfortunately, many of the qualities, such as perfectionism and self-discipline that helped students receive admission to Princeton are also risk factors for the development of eating disorders. Thus, while researchers estimate eating disorders affect 1-2% of the general population, up to 30% of college students experience eating disorder symptoms during their college years.
It is, however, not the case that Princeton is overrun with skeletons. The girls are thin, but not over-thin. Recently, Princeton had an outbreak of salmonella traced back to the student center's tomatoes and lettuce. So they shut down the salad bar. Thinness had nothing to do with that. Story in the middle of this page.

The salmonella outbreak did make the national news, which in someone's convoluted mind--students are sick so they closed the salad bar--might have morphed into "students eat nothing but lettuce so Princeton had to stop them!"

I plan to say more on this later after I get more information, but I would say that I doubt this one pretty seriously. For one thing, you'd taste it. And the lettuce at Princeton tastes pretty much like, well, lettuce, in my experience.

Avril

Last edited by Avril; 18 September 2008 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 18 September 2008, 04:39 PM
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One more thing: if you want, you can contact various people in Princeton's dining services directly:

Contact page

Avril
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Old 18 September 2008, 05:09 PM
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What sort of protein were they supposedly spraying it with? It sounds like one of those UL's about disgruntled chefs contaminating stroppy customers food with their own special sauce.
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Old 23 September 2008, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblin' Dave View Post
I heard the same thing about CU-Boulder, and from someone who had studied there. I think it was probably a UL in both cases. FWIW I have had a number of friends who went to Princeton and none of them ever mentioned this.
FWIW, I went to CU-Boulder and never heard this. While the Boulder-Denver area is renowned for being among the thinnest parts of the US, IME it was because many people there are freakish athletes.
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Old 04 October 2008, 11:05 PM
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I had never heard about the Princeton anorexia statistics until I read this thread, and I'm worried. My daughter's good friend just began his second year at Princeton, and when we saw him during the summer we all commented on how very thin he'd become. Yikes. (Daughter is very much into fitness and nutrition, and when I told her that truly seems to be a higher-than-average problem with aneroxia at Princeton, she said she'd try to find a tactful way to bring up the subject and see whether he really has a problem.)
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Old 09 October 2011, 07:33 PM
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Um, why protein? Anorexia isn't the same thing as protein deficiency (though the two can go together). Protein is needed for many bodily functions, but it isn't a particularly good source of energy by itself. Weren't we just discussing rabbit starvation in the burgers really sell thread? If the goal is to get more calories into the students, fats gives more energy for their mass, possibly why low-calorie salads are usually served with fatty/oily dressings.

Of course, students might detect the slippery feel of fat. A stealthier solution would be to dust the lettuce with something like flour or maltodextrin or somesuch. These types of foods have long been used as cheap fillers for stretching/thickening dishes for a reason. They're pretty much tasteless and would stick to damp lettuce, and their texture wouldn't be too noticeable under the crunchy lettuce. Quick cheap calories.

But how do you go automatically from "students aren't eating enough" to "add protein"? Maybe an earlier version of this story was anti-vegetarian rather than anti-anorexia. I could see it as an anti-administration tale too: Princeton not serving any high-protein plant-based foods, vegetarians complaining, and rather than fixing the problem Princeton spraying the lettuce with protein.
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