NC State Takes Part in National Initiative to Make Campus Healthier

NC State University will join the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in a commitment to improve campus health by formalizing guidelines around food, nutrition, physical activity and programming.

Through the PHA’s new Healthier Campus Initiative, NC State units agree to implement or strengthen 23 wellness-related guidelines over the next three years. They include:

  • Offering more fruits, vegetables and whole grains while reducing the amount of fried food offered in campus dining halls and eateries.
  • Continuing implementation of a bicycle and pedestrian accommodation policy, and/or participating in a national bicycle or pedestrian recognition program.
  • Providing all students 16-hour-per-day access to at least one fitness/recreation center during the academic year without an additional user fee beyond student fees.

“This is a great opportunity to improve the health and wellness of our campus community – which is, of course, very important,” said NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson. “This initiative provides healthier dining choices and more opportunities for physical activity to our students, faculty and staff, and is another great example of our think-and-do spirit.”

The Healthier Campus Initiative was announced Sunday, Nov. 16 at the American Public Health Association’s 2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans. NC State is one of the first 20 schools to sign on to the initiative, which has the potential to affect more than 500,000 students and 126,000 faculty and staff nationally, including the 34,000 students and more than 8,000 faculty and staff on NC State’s campus. The initiative is a partnership with the private sector; first lady Michelle Obama serves as honorary chair.

“The Healthier Campus Initiative is an excellent opportunity for us to come together as a campus and take a more holistic approach to student well-being, specifically obesity,” said Dr. Mike Mullen, NC State’s vice chancellor and dean for academic and student affairs. “It also solidifies our commitment to student health and wellness.”

“Colleges and universities are in a unique position to help shape tomorrow’s leaders, whether they are teachers, coaches, policymakers, CEOs, moms or dads,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We know that going to college is a time of change for many students ­– we also know that means it’s a time when new habits are formed. By creating healthier food and physical activity environments today, campuses and universities are encouraging healthier habits that will carry over into tomorrow.”

For more information on PHA and its Healthier Campus Initiative, visit www.ahealthieramerica.org/campuses.