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CCU Atheneum: Kerry Dittmeier (left), a public health major, tries out the Inbody machine under the watchful eyes of students Dana Aaron (middle) and Eniqua Jones (right).
Kerry Dittmeier (left), a public health major, tries out the Inbody machine under the watchful eyes of students Dana Aaron (middle) and Eniqua Jones (right).

New TEAL lab offers health help to CCU faculty, staff and community

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There’s a new tool to help with our health concerns: The new TEAL Nutrition Program and Lab, located in Swain Hall, Room 141, is available to help faculty, staff and students of Coastal Carolina University, as well as community members.

New this fall, the TEAL Nutrition Program, housed in the Department of Health Sciences Lab for the College of Science, consists of two services: nutrition counseling and body composition analysis via the InBody 570 machine. The lab is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The first service involves diet analysis software called Nutrition Maker that analyzes current diet quality and helps clients develop a plan to improve diet quality. The student lab assistant inputs the client’s diet history into the software program, then reviews the results that include a recommended diet plan, current nutrition excesses and deficiencies, and even a shopping list with recipes to help plan meals.

The second component, body composition analysis, is offered through the InBody 570 machine that uses the bioelectrical impedance method to analyze an individual’s body composition in terms of water, fat, protein, muscle and bone minerals. The machine is accurate in terms of the lean muscle in each limb, the amount and percentage of body fat, and bone mineral content. The InBody 570 machine only takes 60 seconds to calculate body water, lean mass and fat mass. After the noninvasive test, the student lab assistant discusses the results in detail and counsels the client about ways to improve body composition.

CCU personnel at an administrative retreat this summer were invited to try the InBody 570 at no charge, so Pam Walker, administrative assistant in recreation and sport management, signed up.

“My numbers were all really good, so I did not need to make any adjustments and did not need any recommendations,” said Walker. “I do think it is a valuable program with a lot of great information, and learning more about your body is always a good thing! It was very interesting finding out what was going on on the inside. The short time it took to do the test was definitely a positive.”

The program began under the advisement of Sharon Thompson, professor of public health, and Fredanna McGough, department chair. They voluntarily team-taught the pilot class, PUBH 411—Community Nutrition Outreach—last fall for a select group of students who had the appropriate prerequisites and had demonstrated the skills necessary to analyze and interpret nutrition information. The purpose of the class was to provide an experiential learning opportunity for students in the public health program to acquire skills to work with the public in interpreting nutrition and body composition information.

Two students from the pilot class, Dana Aaron and Eniqua Jones, now serve as lab interns and mentor the students currently enrolled in PUBH 411. They are also developing a research agenda in the areas of nutrition and body composition.

“I have always had a strong interest in nutrition, and the TEAL Nutrition Program has allowed me to build my counseling interview skills during diet analysis,” said Aaron, a senior interdisciplinary studies major who graduates in December 2016. Aaron and Jones have worked with several of Coastal’s athletic teams, analyzing the student-athletes’ bodies using the InBody 570 machine. “I found it very interesting to see differences in body composition of the different athletic teams,” said Aaron.

Jones, a senior public health major who plans to graduate in August 2017, said she has enjoyed working in the lab and learning about different types of public health career opportunities.

“I think our clients enjoy working with us because we aren’t doctors, and it’s not a stressful environment,” said Jones. “We sit down and talk about the good and the bad without any judgment, which makes everything flow better.”

The cost to participate in the program for faculty and staff members is $60 for the full Teal Package of two visits (total 1.5 hours of consultation time), a baseline diet analysis and health assessment with goals and recommendations; $30 or $40 for the intermediate Bronze Package (75 minutes); and $20 or $25 for the basic Black Package (30 minutes). For details on pricing, visit www.coastal.edu/healthsciences/tealnutrition.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 843-349-2634 or email tealnutrition@coastal.edu.

 

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