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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Drinking cheeseburgers

It will take a two-hour run for a student to burn off a three-cheeseburger party.

These and other comparisons are part of the results from the E-Chug campaign, a quiz adopted by UC Davis Health Education and Promotion (HEP) aimed at educating students about their alcohol and tobacco use.

“[The quiz] is a tool for students to learn about their drinking patterns,” said Cindy Valencia, a health educator at HEP.

The questions in the E-Chug quiz identify a student’s amount of consumption over a certain time period. The quiz lists other items, such as iPods, that could be bought with the money the participant spends on alcohol. Also, the calories in drinks are compared to the equivalent in cheeseburgers to emphasize the caloric content in alcohol.

The burger-to-drink comparison is based on the assumption that each drink is about 100-140 calories, according to a HEP fact sheet. According to the McDonald’s website, a cheeseburger has 300 calories.

Lauren Salmo, a student coordinator at HEP and junior biological science major, noted that the quiz is a kind of translation between students’ alcohol consumption and other activities in their life.

The quiz also asks participants to estimate the consumption patterns of other students, and offers results comparing their drinking patterns to other students.

E-Chug is informative if a student wants to know how their consumption patterns are compared to other students, Salmo said.

The information gathered from the quiz is also used for statistical purposes.

“We use it to gauge where the campus’s drinking levels are with other research surveys that we send out,” said Stephanie Lake, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) intervention coordinator at Student Health Services, in an e-mail interview.

As incentive for completing the quiz, HEP is offering a $5 coupon to Redrum Burger or a 25 percent discount off a T-shirt from HEP.

The E-Chug campaign costs $745 per year, according to a fact sheet compiled by HEP.

Since UC Davis adopted the campaign in 2006, approximately 1,000 students have participated, according to a HEP fact sheet. The quiz, which was created by counselors and psychologists at San Diego State University, had 467 participants in the quiz last year, said Valencia.

More than 190 students have participated in the E-Chug campaign this school year, which prompted the campaign to modify their goal of 300 participants by the end of the year to 300 participants by the end of October.

“We’re off to a really good start,” Valencia said.

To encourage participation, members of the campaign have launched the Facebook group, “I Chug, You Chug, wE-CHUG!,” which currently has more than 280 members. The group’s logo will be featured on the quad next week in light of National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, which begins Oct. 19.

A link to the E-Chug quiz can be found on the Safe Party Website, safeparty.ucdavis.edu.


SARA JOHNSON can be reached at features@californiaaggie.com



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