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School Nutrition

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Caffeine- I do not think that caffeine is a drug. I know that caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system. Since I was a child I have been drinking tea. It's part of my tradition as an Indian to have a least a cup of tea with biscuits in the morning. Since, I have been living on the college campus for the last four years and it's hard to work around the schedule in this country so I do not drink tea as often. Drinking tea early in the morning was part of socializing with my extended family members. My parents told me that by drinking a cup of tea in the morning, it wakes up my senses and tea is good for me as long I drink in moderation. I started to drink coffee last year, since English is my second language and it is hard for me to keep pace with translating everything in my mind while working full time. Since I work during the nighttime, I do not have much choice but to drink coffee so I can attend my classes on a regular bases. During midterms and finals week I drink about 3-4 cups of a day so I can stay awake and be alert to study. I do not believe that coffee is an addiction, I think it is more of a habit that people have.

Alcohol- I think it is okay to have alcohol occasionally, if you keep it within reasonable limits I never tried alcohol; once again in my culture, women do not drink or smoke, so I was never exposed to alcohol until I came to the United States. I was first introduced to alcohol by my doormats. One day all the girls from my residence hall were having a party and they invited me. All of the girls drank except me, and they were telling me to try it. I said "No thank you, I had my dinner I am already full." One of the girls was actually forcing the beer bottle into my face. I left the room and called my parents and cried over the phone. My dad told me to just go into my room and not interact with strange people. I know that alcohol is a drug that has widespread effects on the body. I think the effects vary from person to person. Some people can have plenty of drinks and it won't affect them too much and some people can have one drink have many physical and behavioral changes. It all depends on the amount of alcohol consumed, a person's history with alcohol, and a person's personality as well. I also know that people who are alcoholic have hard time quitting, because there are symptoms of withdrawing from alcohol like delirium tremors.

Nicotine: I have not tried nicotine. I dislike the people who smoke cigarettes. If I pass by someone who is smoking a cigarette I hold my breath for a few seconds and exhale my breath after I pass by the smoker. If I inhale the smoke, I get a headache easily and sometimes I feel like throwing up. I know nicotine changes how our brain and body function. I have a friend who likes to smoke a lot. He has high blood pressure and high cholesterol problems right now. He smokes a lot when he gets nervous and he is under a lot of stress. He says that smoking relaxes him when he has too much tension and smoking improves his ability to pay attention and makes him feel like he can work better. I think all this ties into one think, which is it can cause many serious problem like heart disease or lung problems. I know smoking causes the constriction of arteries. This puts people who smoke at risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. My friend has been trying to quit for a long time. So far he has not cut down on his smoking habits. He tried to do nicotine patches and get help but its not working. I think nicotine is an addiction,



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