Posters on a Moulton Union bulletin board detailing the calorie counts of standard Thanksgiving foods were taken down after students anonymously pinned angry comments to the board.
The posters, which included “strategies to decrease intake and manage weight,” were posted on the Thursday before Thanksgiving—the day of Bowdoin Dining’s annual Thanksgiving dinner.
“The bulletin board was put up in [an] earnest attempt to satisfy requests by students and staff who had asked for nutrition information,” wrote Susanne D’Angelo-Cooley, Moulton Union’s operations manager and nutritionist for Bowdoin dining, in an email earlier this week. One poster claimed, “The average person gains seven pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
D’Angelo-Cooley explained, “The board was taken down after insulting and negative comments were posted.”
Some students, including Sydney Burton ’23, found the signage to be more harmful than helpful.
“This seems incredibly unnecessary—especially the calories. When I was eating my Thanksgiving dinner, I certainly wasn’t thinking about that. Nobody should be,” Burton said. “I should not have to be guilted into feeling concerned with my weight on the one night a year where I should be concerned with my own feelings of gratitude.”
Rather than focusing on the importance of giving thanks during the holiday, Burton believes Moulton Union’s weight warning added pressure to the festivities.
“It’s honestly appalling how dining felt the need to take the joy out of the meal by illustrating the gritty reality of the food’s effect,” Burton said. “But no regrets because that pecan pie was amazing.”