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ARA SERVICES: LEANER TRAINING TABLES AT FOOTBALL CAMPS

 ARA SERVICES: LEANER TRAINING TABLES AT FOOTBALL CAMPS
 PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- As you might imagine, a football team trains on its stomach. And in seasons past that meant only one thing -- meat and potatoes and lots of it.
 But according to ARA Services, which provides the food service for six of the pro football training camps around the country through its Campus Dining division, training tables have a leaner look this summer. Instead of strip steaks and fries, players are grabbing more fruit, hitting the salad bar and asking for something healthy off the grill.
 Although trainers and experts have been preaching the short and long-term benefits of low-fat and low-calorie diets for the last few years, football players have been slow in taking the nutritional hand- off.
 A Big Change
 "Last year, it was, 50-50 between red and white meats," says Michael Clark, ARA's food service director at the University of Tampa, training site for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "This year Rock Oliver, the new training coach, has put a big emphasis on eliminating fats. We're grilling a lot of fish and chicken and we're offering red meats only twice a week."
 ARA has also helped the Bucs institute a number of other health- conscious innovations at their summer camp. Nutritional and caloric information is supplied for entrees, and sandwiches are served on wheat bread only. And late-night snacks -- a tradition in football camps and a necessity after two-a-day scrimmages -- feature plenty of low-fat frozen yogurts and mineral waters but no high-calorie desserts and sodas.
 Another team served by ARA that is changing the way it eats is the Philadelphia Eagles. At their camp at West Chester University in West Chester, Pa., outside Philadelphia, Eagles players are taking part in an "Eat to Compete" program.
 This program features several selections for each meal offering healthy alternatives of grilled fish and chicken, rice, pasta and fresh vegetables. ARA has offered similar items in the past, but, according to Food Service Director Tim Spencer, this year they're really going over big with Eagles players.
 "There's been a big change this sum ?says Spencer. "We still have players who want their red meats, but for the first time a lot of the players are going past the ribs and steaks and asking for grilled fish."
 A Whole Lot of Grub
 A healthier diet is one thing, but football players still burn up a lot of fuel. Between early morning workouts, two drills, special coaching sessions and film study, players burn off an average of 6,000 calories a day, almost three times that of a person with average activity.
 That means that football players have to eat whenever they get a chance.
 At Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, the training site for the Houston Oilers, ARA provides what amounts to five meals everyday. There is a 5 a.m. continental breakfast before practice, then breakfast, lunch, dinner, and finally at around 9:30 p.m., the late-night snack.
 The dining schedule for the other camps served by ARA is similar. For the 28th straight year at Mankato State University in Mankato, Minn., ARA sets a table for 150 Minnesota Vikings players, coaching staff, trainers, managers, and press at every meal.
 The New England Patriots train at Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I., and rely on ARA to not just make meals nutritious and satisfying but also interesting. Recently, Food Service Director Bill Petti and his staff gave the patriots a "Taste of Barcelona" when they served a menu similar to the one ARA, in its role as Official Food Service Manager of the Summer Games, provides for the athletes at the Olympics.
 And at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, ARA makes sure that the Dallas Cowboys faithful who brave the heat have plenty to eat and drink. While the team is in camp, ARA manages the concessions for the 3,500 fans that show up every day. That's on top of serving an additional 300 team members, media, guests and corporate clients at least four daily meals. Quite a turnout.
 ARA Services is a privately-held, international, diversified service management company with nearly $5 billion, in annual sales. Based in Philadelphia, the company's Campus Dining Services serves more than 200 million meals annually at more than 300 campuses nationwide.
 -0- 8/7/92
 /CONTACT: Terry Fallon, of ARA Services, 215-238-3311/ CO: ARA Services ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


MJ-CC -- PHFNS1 -- 7797 08/06/92 17:49 EDT
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Date:Aug 6, 1992
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