UND moves toward healthier campus

In a mix between juggling classes, exams and additional extracurricular activities, focusing on a healthy lifestyle may be a priority that falls through the cracks. In order to make healthier decisions on campus easier for students, UND has recently allied with The Partnership for a Healthier America.

The Partnership for a Healthier America is an organization devoted to developing strategies to end childhood obesity and making healthy options more accessible to students across the nation.

PHA is led by some of the nations most respected health and childhood obesity experts and works most notably with First Lady Michelle Obama, who is the PHA honorary chair.

UND announced its collaboration with PHA on Nov. 16 and joined the program in a three-year commitment to make its campus healthier. The announcement of this partnership was made at the American Public Health Associations 2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition.

“In creating a campus-wide approach to health and wellness issues, we can increase the likelihood that students achieve academic and personal success by pursuing a high quality of life and sense of well-being,” UND President Robert Kelley said about the program.

With this partnership, UND will aim to deliver healthier food choices across campus and promote additional opportu- nities for physical activity to help improve the health of students and faculty.

This initiative will impact nearly 15,000 students and more than 2,700 faculty and staff on the UND campus.

“UND is one of the first schools to sign on to PHAs Healthier Campus Initiative, which comprises of 19 other colleges and universities,” Health & Wellness Marketing Manager Lacey Dahlen said. “With this agreement, UND will plan on developing 23 commitment elements over the next three years.”

These commitment elements will include food and nutrition, physical activity and programming.

Also included in this action plan is labeling food and beverage items offered with calories per serving, implementing an annual comprehensive wellness program for individuals on campus and offering a bicycle-share program for all individuals on campus.

A full list of the 23 commitments and a detailed action report about the program can be found at UND.edu/Healthy-UND.

UND’s collaboration with The Partnership for a Healthier America will strive to provide students with healthy options and beneficial wellness programs. As the changes will soon begin to take place, PHA will be carrying out their programs with student’s wellbeing in mind.

“We know that going to college is a time of change for many students,” PHA CEO Lawrence Soler said. “By creating healthier food and physical activity environments today, campuses and universities are encouraging healthier habits that will carry over into tomorrow.”

Amanda Hefner is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].