Florida State University has joined the Healthier Campus Initiative of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and PHA honorary chair Michelle Obama to make it easier for people to choose healthier living.
With its three-year commitment, Florida State will adopt PHA guidelines about food, nutrition, physical activity and programming to help students, faculty and staff make healthier choices. This includes improving the nutrition of the options available at its two on-campus dining halls and making it easier for people on campus to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.
Florida State has already demonstrated its commitment to maximizing campus wellness through its Healthy Campus 2020 (HC2020) Initiative. Through five strategic health teams that make up HC2020, the university addresses environmental factors that reduce risk; educates the campus community about healthy lifestyles; and promotes positive choices and behaviors and a coordinated continuum of care.
“We offer fitness facilities that are open to all students for at least 16 hours per day, and offer hundreds of diverse recreation, physical activity and competitive sports opportunities throughout the academic year,” said April Moore, Physical Health Team co-chair and director of the FSU Fitness and Movement Clinic. “We encourage outdoor physical activity and movement on campus through our outdoor fitness systems, group fitness classes, intramural sports leagues and tournaments.”
The Physical Health Team also offers nonacademic cooking classes and provides nutrition consultations under the direction of registered dietitian Heather Fisher.
“We want to inform and empower students to make healthy choices while also identifying their hunger and fullness cues,” said Fisher, who leads a team of nutrition graduate students that provides general nutrition education to students through the Office of Health Promotion. “We encourage students to make overall health rather than body weight their top priority through lifestyle choices that include balanced eating and physical activity.”
Seminole Dining, FSU’s on-campus dining service and Physical Health Team partner, plays a vital role in the nutritional health of students. In fall 2013, Seminole Dining launched its “Healthy for Life” program designed to create better awareness around the offerings in their two dining halls and bring attention to the nutritional content of food.
In addition, Seminole Dining has launched its new Campus Dishapp, which gives students access to Seminole Dining’s locations, menus and nutritional information.
“Our goal is to empower students to make healthy choices that suit their individual dietary needs,” said Scott Aebersold, marketing director for Seminole Dining.
In addition to Florida State, the PHA Healthier Campus Initiative includes 37 other colleges and universities and more than 800,000 students and 250,000 faculty and staff members nationwide.
“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’s Healthier Campus Initiative, visit www.ahealthieramerica.org/campuses.