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New Website Offers Students, Lansing Locals Opportunities to Get in Shape

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If you’re a soon-to-be Michigan State student, you might have heard of the dreaded "freshman fifteen" weight gain. Similarly, if you’re a continuing student at MSU or elsewhere, you might have already packed on those pounds. Despite which situation you fall into, there’s hope to keep your body in shape or get it back into shape–whatever the case may be. A new website was recently introduced to help college students, as well as the local community, get nutrition tips and find cheap activities to do in the area that will help them be active.

The website, mymacwellness.com was started as a collaboration between the Michigan Association of Chiropractors and the Michigan Department of Community Health and has been around for about six months. However, a new update to the site added new features and targets the Lansing area. According to Allan Ross, one of the creators of the site, about 500 new visitors have browsed the website in the past week. The Lansing area was one of the "pockets" in Michigan targeted because of the lack of physical activity of the residents.

While Ross argues that the site provides useful information, such as how to find a doctor locally, how to create a personal health plan, or how to find low-cost exercise activities, Ronda Bokram, a registered dietician at Olin Health Center on campus maintains that the site doesn’t provide many more services than other government websites. In addition, Bokram worries that the site focuses too much on the dangers of overeating, rather than the dangers of undereating. According to Bokram, 77 percent of college students are not overweight. The bigger problem is that 40 percent of students are trying to lose weight when it isn’t necessary. John Kermiet, a health educator at Olin agrees with Bokram’s views, and sees the site as directed at an older crowd rather than at college students.