Oklahoma State University Strives to be America's Healthiest College Campus
Oklahoma State University is after a title. No, not for football or basketball or even anything academic. Instead, OSU has put itself on the track to be America’s Healthiest Campus.
The quest to be America’s Healthiest started earlier this year with the implementation of updates like the campus’ new Reboot Center, a space designed to help students relax and get away from the stresses of student life. It opened to good reviews in March, and helped pave the way for additional health-centered initiatives.
With the same goal of improved student and faculty health in mind, in October, OSU hired a Chief Wellness Officer. OSU President Burns Hargis said “this new position emphasizes the commitment we have to the well-being of our students and employees as OSU strives to be America’s Healthiest Campus.”
More healthy changes came right on the heels of this new appointment: Within days, Oklahoma State announced a new on-campus food nutrition labeling system. This new system helps students make healthier eating choices by labeling more than 800 kinds of prepared foods with information about serving size, number of servings per package, ingredients, nutritional values and allergen information.
“University Dining Service created the nutritional label program for prepared foods as a way to help educate students about healthy eating lifestyles by providing them the nutrition information they need to make better choices,” Terry Baker, director of OSU University Dining Services said in a statement. “Between classes, jobs and outside activities, OSU students are always on the go, and their hectic schedules means that they sometimes prioritize convenience over health when it comes to food options.”
“Healthy eating is a vital component of our campaign to become America’s Healthiest campus, and the new OSU food labeling system gives students the information they need to make good eating decision,” Ann Hargis, OSU’s first lady said.
The first lady of campus is passionate about the campaign to become America’s Healthiest Campus. She has embraced the wellness programs at OSU, including bringing the mental health departments together to create an environment to encourage faculty, staff and students to follow a healthier lifestyle. OSU has also implemented programs in the areas of fitness, healthy eating, emotional health, smoking cessation and financial health.
“College is a crucial time for students who may be away from home for the first time,” first lady Hargis said. “The lifestyle decisions and habits they form here may impact the rest of their lives, which is why we want our students to be armed with the best information possible.”
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