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ETSU nursing students provide information about drink contents

Rex Barber • Apr 25, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Did you know that if you consume 3,500 calories and don’t burn it off properly you can gain a pound of fat? Or that a typical energy drink contains around 20 teaspoons of sugar?

Students at East Tennessee State University who happened to be in the D.P. Culp University Center Thursday may know this if they stopped by the College of Nursing information booth.

“We’re just trying to inform them so that they know what they need to be looking for to make healthier choices,” said Mandy Brannen, a junior in the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program.

Besides displaying how much sugar is contained within various soft drinks, which by the way typically have around 10 teaspoons of sugar, the information booth had information on exercising, healthy eating and even a fat vest that could be worn to see what it would feel like to carry around an extra 20 pounds of weight.

“It’s very heavy,” said nursing student Trever Weaver after putting on the vest. “I can’t imagine carrying this around all day long.”

Brannen said students may be surprised at how much sugar and caffeine are in energy drinks.

“And if they’re drinking one to three of them a day, then it really adds up and it’s harming them in the long run,” she said, adding that caffeine is hard on the heart.

“I think a lot of students drink soda or the energy drinks just because it’s easy and convenient, so they’re on the go and they’re just grabbing something, but water’s the best thing.”

Brannen said most students who stopped by the booth were unaware how many calories or how much sugar was in some of the things they eat or drink.

Students in the College of Nursing set up these kinds of informational booths from time to time. Topics other than nutrition may be visited next time.

But for Thursday, the message was to “be conscious,” of what you’re eating, Brannen said.

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