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ISSUE 117 VOL 12 PUBLISHED 3/5/2004

Atkins craze results in few diet changes in cafeteria

By Emelie Heltsley
Staff Writer

Friday, March 5, 2004

Atkins is everywhere. From Subway to Applebees, restaurants across the nation have introduced "Atkins-approved" and "low-carb" menu items. The no-carb Atkins craze has spread like wildfire, but St. Olaf seems to be relatively unaffected by the diet.

Many students answered negatively when asked about the Atkins diet. The most common reaction received was, "I think it's stupid!"

"Atkins is excessively extreme," Sara Perelli-Minetti 07 said. "You can accomplish the same weight loss through healthier diets, like South Beach. People look at the Atkins diet as an easy way to achieve weight loss without exercise."

"All you need to do is eat less and exercise. Just don't eat snacks," said Maria Hedberg 07. "You don't have to quit eating bagels; just don't eat so many."

Hays Atkins, general manager of Bon Appétit, which serves the Cage and the cafeteria, said that he has seen no difference in what students are consuming on campus.

"There has been no change in food demand compared to a few years ago. The only differences are the higher prices of animal products," Atkins said.

According to Atkins, the cafeterias most popular carb-laden meals have not become less popular with the recent Atkins craze.

"People still love pasta and grilled cheese," Atkins said.

Should the cafeteria think about offering more protein choices?

"Definitely," Perelli-Minetti said. "It's quite difficult to eat a protein-only meal in the Caf."

Atkins, however, thinks that "the Caf's service style allows for an Atkins- friendly meal."

How has the Pause responded? The Pause recently sported an "Atkins Friendly Pizza Crust" sign, along with a disclaimer that denies any support of the diet itself.

"Technically, we've always offered thin crust. Kitchen employees just press the dough more," said Andrew Billing 04, co-coordinator of the Pause.

"The Atkins thing was more of a joke and attention-grabber," Billing admitted. "But we may take down the Atkins sign if there is a popular uprising, angry Oles, or Atkins-based riots."

However, it does not look like the Atkins craze has hit campus yet. Lines are still long for carbohydrate meals in the cafeteria, students are still eating Cage cookies, and Pause regular-crust pizza sales are still the favorite.

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