The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Simpson hires campus nutrionist

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Anastasia O’Meara is the campus dietician and strives to help students achieve their nutritional goals.

Simpson College recently hired Anastasia O’Meara as the campus nutritionist. She has been working closely with students, athletic teams and campus dining to help reach nutritional and diet goals for everyone.  

O’Meara joined the Simpson faculty this year, but was not hard to find. She grew up in Indianola and attended Iowa State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and became a registered dietician. After graduation, she had one of her internship rotations at Simpson, where she worked with campus dining for three weeks, leaving an imprint that eventually led to her recent hire. Campus dining saw the opportunities a dietician/nutritionist could offer and invited her back for the new position. 

Her interest in dietetics is rooted in her experience with Type 1 Diabetes and celiac disease. Type 1 Diabetes forced her to pay attention to nutrition and put more effort into deciding her nutritional needs.

 “The focus ended up becoming the real passion for me,” O’Meara said. “So, from there, I wanted to become a dietician so I could use all of my experience to work in a position that has a really big impact on people’s health and overall well-being.”

O’Meara’s role as the campus nutritionist involves working with dining services, athletic teams and Student Accessibility Services (SAS). She said, “One of my main goals is helping navigate dining, special diet needs and providing nutrition education materials.” 

She has already met with several athletic teams to discuss athlete’s nutritional goals and ways of achieving them. She suggests that her one-on-one sessions with students and athletes will help balance nutrition and performance goals for sports and lifestyle in general. 

“I know a lot of times, people get swept up in fad diets, and the issue with those is that they’re not very sustainable. Look for options that fit well within your lifestyle, aim for balance, and know you can make your nutritional priorities compatible with others in your life,”

In her short time here, O’Meara has been working on a project regarding Simple Zone, which focuses on students with food allergies, intolerance and special diet needs. Her experience with celiac disease also motivates her to voice concerns about the accessibility of gluten-free food options on campus. 

“I have celiac disease, so I know a lot about the need for safe food and free options, and I’m working really hard on that,” she said.  

A topic that O’Meara plans on learning more about is food insecurity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Everything she works towards will better equip students and dining services to fight food insecurity. 

O’Meara understands her position is new, and many students still don’t know about her services. She urges students with questions about their nutritional or dietetic health, or how to balance their meals to reach out to her as a resource. Any questions can be directed to her through her email: [email protected].

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