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Gravois Mills Teen Discovers New Way of Eating

Teyonna Ruppert

Teyonna Ruppert was assisted by a special clinic at University of Missouri Health Care, which helps children and teens confront the health complications associated with being overweight.

What Teyonna Ruppert misses most are pepperoni pizza rolls, white rice and chocolate. Before August 2010, she didn’t hesitate to eat these American staples. But now her meals regularly feature less-satisfying ingredients such as “gravel in a tube.” That’s what Teyonna, 15, calls whole-wheat pasta. “It literally tastes like rocks inside of a noodle,” she says, laughing at the notion that healthy food choices might taste good.

One recent night, she and mother, Karen Ogden of Gravois Mills thought they’d finally found a diet loophole: chocolate swirl ice cream. It was sugar-free, of course, but they had high hopes that the flavor wouldn’t disappoint. After reading the nutritional label, they realized they could have only half a cup. That small portion looked pathetic in their bowls, but the taste was even worse. Teyonna thought about feeding hers to their eight cats — but even the cats are used to tastier daily servings of half-and-half. “They say smokers have a three-day hump,” Teyonna says. “With food, it’s a three-month hump.”


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Campus: UMC
Key words: Health, MU Campus, Teaching, UM System,
County: Morgan