It’s hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle in college. Classes, jobs and dorm life often get in the way of a balanced diet and exercise schedule, which is why initiatives toward an easily accessible healthy lifestyle on campus are important.
Sr. Director of Recreation and Wellness Ashley Broward has been working for UNF for 14 years and has dedicated her time to creating a healthy campus. In 2015, UNF signed a partnership with Healthy America, an organization that promotes nationwide health. The organization started an initiative for more healthy college campuses, and UNF joined.
“It was a great way to partner with other universities to make sure that we are the right path and following the right trends,” Broward said.
One of the biggest areas that Healthy America focuses on is food and nutrition. RND Campus Dietitian Yemila Lowry mentioned some of the changes the dining services has made so far.
“This past year we had to create a wellness meal for breakfast lunch and dinner at the cafe,” Lowry said.
If you go onto the campus website, under “dining,” you will see the wellness meals that the dietitians have provided for the day or week. They have a healthy icon which is placed around other food establishments around campus. The icon is an apple and the slogan is “The healthy choice is the easy choice.” Dining Services has also introduced PIDs, which are labels in the cafeteria that are placed on certain healthy food options. These PIDs label healthy foods with the same apple icon that can be found on the website.
It has been hard to try to modify healthy options in some franchises like Starbucks or Chick Fil a.
“If they have some items that can be modified or fall into the criteria that we developed I would stamp it with the icon,” Lowry said.
Another feature that has been added this year is a healthy osprey rewards card, which mimics a rewards card. With the card, if a student purchases five healthy items, they can receive five dollars back. “Eating healthy does pay off,” Lowry said.
Because of students speaking out about wanting to have more healthy options, they have been able to make some changes around campus – like having a new veggie burger at the Boathouse.
They plan on making more healthy changes and options on campus for students to add more variety to a healthy lifestyle.
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