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The University of Alicante opens its Food & Nutrition Advice Centre

The new centre is conceived as a new area for guidance and advice in the clinical, research and teaching approaches as well as for the public at large






Moment of the inauguration of the Centre with the University President and the two nutritionists who will be responsible for customer service   The Dean of Health Sciences, Ana Laguna, explains to the attending authorities how this Centre operates during a scheduled visit to its facilities


Alicante, 4th March 2013

It is unquestionable that the Mediterranean diet is an inexhaustible source of benefits for the body, as it is based on the intake of natural food like fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, olive oil, fish, nuts, etc., But the current pace of life makes it difficult to keep it up regularly. According to a recent report from the Department of Nutrition of the University of Alicante, the food pyramid of students is absolutely inverted, that is, their diet is the opposite to the Mediterranean diet as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Also, 15% of the members of our university community are overweight and 3% are obese. In order to prevent the diseases derived from this malpractice and encourage healthier eating habits, the University of Alicante has inaugurated its Food and Nutrition Advice Centre (ALINUA) this morning. The event, chaired over by the University President, Manuel Palomar, has hosted the participation of the Director-General for Public Health of the Valencian regional government, Lourdes Monge, the Dean of the Faculty, Ana Laguna, the coordinator of this Advice Centre,  Rocío Ortiz, and the two nutritionists centre managers, Ana Zaragoza and North Aurora.

The UA President has framed this initiative within a larger “multidisciplinary and cross-curricular project: the Healthy University", coordinated by the Office of the Vice President for Campus Facilities and Sustainability. The aim, according to Palomar, “is to take advantage of the campus intrinsic assets in health and environmental excellence”. Meanwhile,  Lourdes Monge has praised this initiative and pointed out "the need to work together to optimize resources and maximize results that are common to both institutions".

The Food and Nutrition Advice Centre is an area for health care, research and teaching, "a new focal point for the university community and for students in the UA Nutrition study programme, who can perform supervised training actions here", as Ana Laguna explained, who has insisted that "this new service, still with few resources, can be of great interest for health prevention, as well as for the development of our students."


Service and transference of knowledge

According to Rocio Ortiz, coordinator of the Centre, "the underlying services ALINUA are based on three main approaches: the clinical, the public and the research one". The first of them will be offered in the advice centre facilities themselves, with nutritional therapy to the entire university community, with briefing visits, consultation, revisions and anthropometric studies.

Within our public service, "the goal is to transfer knowledge and results of research carried out at the UA in food and nutrition. Hence, this Centre offers advice, assessment and collaboration in the planning of a food and nutrition policy in the context of health promotion, as well as courses, lectures or seminars on nutritional education and consumption habits", Rocio Ortiz stated.

Finally, in the research approach, ALINUA is constantly working on the study and improvement of the food habits of our university community through specific research works on food intake, alcohol, lifestyle ...

The University President has been in charge of opening ALINUA online, a centre located at the Faculty of Health Sciences with two expert nutritionists, Ana Zaragoza and Aurora Norte.

The two nutritionists has been in charge of conducting the opening ceremony and talk about the operation of the Centre. They has explained that during the first information and free-of-charge visit, "consumers will know if their eating habits, along with their weight and height, are healthy". "Also, in a subsequent consultation and after considering parameters such as tension, body fat and lean mass index, glucose, cholesterol ... , if necessary, a new diet and healthy habits can be established" she pointed out.

On the other hand, focusing on athletes, ALINUA offers anthropometric studies to assess fitness and nutritional regimes, a prerequisite to begin high-level workouts. This will measure the body segments and folds of fat by specific devices.

Students interested in nutritional treatment can arrange an appointment through ALINUA website. The UA staff can do so through the Virtual Campus. Also, for healthy food habits to the public at large, ALINUA has a profile on Facebook and its own website.

Voice glitches of the Director-General for Public Health, Lourdes Monge and the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ana Laguna.



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Voice glitch of Ana Laguna   Voice glitch of Lourdes Monge






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