Gifts to the Dietetics Development fund will help raise crucial funds towards the purchase a new DEXA machine and updated equipment.
Managed by the Dietetics Department, Eagle Nutrition Services (ENS) is EMU's on-campus nutrition counseling center. Among it's many services, ENS offers DEXA body composition testing, which attracts many clients from all around the area. DEXA systems use x-ray technology to provide data on body fat percentage, lean mass, and bone mineral density and is considered the gold standard in body composition testing. Our machine is only one of two DEXAs that are available for public use in southeastern Michigan, with others located in hospitals requiring a doctor referral, or in fitness facilities where membership is required.
A typical expected lifespan of DEXA x-ray equipment is 10-15 years, and our current machine now in its 13th year of service. Newer software and more advanced technology with enhanced features are both available, which suggests our equipment is out-of-date. One of those new features is trabecular bone score (TBS), which allows providers to more accurately interpret fracture risk assessments in those with osteoporosis. We have referring doctors who are now looking to receive TBS information on their patients, but we are unable to provide it with the current equipment.
Historically, the DEXA machine at ENS has allowed us to:
- Expand our nutrition services, providing an increase in learning opportunities for our dietetic students.
- Increase our revenue, money which goes back into the Dietetics program, allowing us to fund student research, special projects, or free community events such as our Get Your Vitamin 5K annual walk/run.
- Provide unique training to our Graduate Assistants, which gives them a competitive advantage when job searching.
- Participate in empirical, quantitative research, assessing body composition as it relates to nutrition and lifestyle factors.
- Attract new customers, increasing the number of nutrition consults and class participants at our student-led events.
- Provide concrete data for clients who are looking to make changes with their body composition.
Updating to newer technology would allow ENS to continue the above-listed services for the next 15 years, while also providing us with a competitive edge and the ability to provide TBS information to referring doctors.
Eagle Nutrition Services (ENS) originated out of a need to provide dietetic students with an outlet to hone their nutrition counseling skills and gain experience by working alongside Registered Dietitians. Through their time spent at ENS, our dietetic students have opportunities to conduct nutrition consults, to run community events such as cooking demonstrations and presentations, and to develop entrepreneurial skills such as marketing and budgeting. Formerly known as the Office of Nutrition Services, ENS has been working with clients on the campus of Eastern Michigan University since 1998.
Since 2008, our DEXA machine has been our primary source of revenue and biggest marketing tool to attract new clients to ENS. More clients means more nutrition consults and increased learning opportunities for our dietetic students; increased revenue means more free programming offered to our campus community, which benefits the dietetic students who lead the events, and also the students who participate in them.
To learn more about ENS, visit our website.