sealPurdue News

November 1994

Diet-savvy consumers still get in their licks

Efforts to inform the public about the link between fat intake and chronic disease have increased public awareness and changed food choices, but haven't resulted in reduced fat-intake levels. Daniel S. Putler, assistant professor of management at Purdue, and USDA economist Elizabeth Frazao found in a study that even individuals aware of the link still have somewhat unhealthy diets. For example, the study notes that diet-savvy women eat less red meat and egg products, but eat more salty snacks, deserts and fatty dressings and sauces. CONTACT: Putler, (765) 494-4404.

Take steps when child abuse knocks at your door

You see bruises on the face of one of your child's playmates. Should you contact child protective services or ignore the matter? Dean D. Knudsen, Purdue professor of sociology, says it's better to try to determine if the child is really being abused than to do nothing, and child-protection authorities are in the best position to determine that. Children will continue to be abused unless someone intervenes, he says. Knudsen's comments come on the heels of a recent study by a University of New Hampshire researcher that says one in four U.S. kids ages 10 to 16 is abused each year. CONTACT: Knudsen, (765) 494-4666. Black-and-white photo of Knudsen available, (765) 494-2096.

Generational differences are great among Catholics

A Purdue professor has found marked differences in the way different generations of Catholics look at their church. James D. Davidson, professor of sociology, is directing a study of theological differences among Catholics in Indiana and has plans to expand his study nationwide. His findings so far: Older Catholics, those raised in the 1930s and 1940s, stress discipline and obedience when talking about the church, and they are worried about the younger generation and the future of the church. Younger Catholics, those raised in the 1970s and 1980s, focus almost exclusively on their personal relationship with God. They place higher premium on what they perceive as "God's Law" than they do on church teachings. Davidson presented his findings at the Nov. 4-6 meeting in Albuquerque, N.M., of the Society for Scientific Study of Religion. CONTACT: Davidson, (765) 494-6630; home, (765) 463-9607. Black-and-white feature photo of Davidson available, (765) 494-2096 .

Students make college rooms feel like home, sweet home

College students have stopped thinking about university housing as simply a place to sleep. The residence hall is home eight months of the year, and students are bringing the comforts of home with them to school. The comforts include telephones, answering machines, televisions, videotape recorders, refrigerators and personal computers. Students are using the concepts of interior design to personalize their living space, and this fall Purdue conducted a contest to let students show their creativity. Two students who decorated their room in a sports motif won the inaugural judging. With nearly 11,000 undergraduate students living on campus, Purdue operates the largest residence hall system in the country that does not require students to live in university housing. CONTACT: Barbara Middleton, residence halls marketing manager, (765) 494-1000; Internet, Color photos available. (765) 494-2096.

Lullabies are good tool to help baby learn language

Singing or reciting nursery rhymes to your baby is a good way to help the child learn language, says Michael P. Lynch, assistant professor of audiology and speech sciences at Purdue. And it's never too early to start, he says -- babies are fascinated by music from the moment they're born. Even if you sing off-key, that's OK, he says. The important thing is to use music to encourage your little one to pay attention and start picking up how language sounds. CONTACT: Lynch, (765) 494-3824.

Higher education turns more to private funds

"Shrinking state revenues are forcing public-assisted colleges and universities to make private support a larger part of their budgets," says Charles B. Wise, Purdue vice president for development. Wise spearheaded Purdue's five-year, $250 million "Vision 21" campaign, which has raised more than $321 million to date -- the largest total by an Indiana public college or university. Wise says, "Private support has become increasingly important to Purdue's ability to sustain and build excellence. In fact, few realize that only one-fourth of Purdue's 1994-95 annual operating budget comes from state funds. This compares to 33 percent in 1980-81." The "Vision 21" campaign allows the university to bolster such areas as student scholarships, faculty development and establishment of new centers of excellence. The campaign officially ends Dec. 31. CONTACT: Wise, (765) 494-8653. Black-and-white photo of Wise and b-roll of campaign celebration available, (765) 494-2096.

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