Des Moines University is making a commitment to deliver healthier food choices and promote even more wellness activities for students, faculty and staff. DMU is joining the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) Healthier Campus Initiative, a group of 38 colleges and universities committed to making the healthy choice the easy choice at their institutions.
“The Healthier Campus Initiative is another opportunity for us to make our wellness programming and goals more comprehensive,” said Joy Schiller, Des Moines University wellness director. “Consistently, we hear from students and employees that they’d like to see healthier options offered in our cafeteria so this is a great opportunity to make some improvements.”
Each college and university has committed to meet guidelines focused on food and nutrition, physical activity and programming. The guidelines were developed by PHA in collaboration with leading nutrition, physical activity and campus wellness experts. As part of the agreement, DMU has committed to implementing 23 guidelines over the next three years, including:
- Provide healthier food and beverage options in the cafeteria, catering services and campus vending machines, including more fruits and vegetables, low-calorie choices and plant-based options alongside meat.
- Offer diverse recreation, physical activity or competitive sports opportunities during each academic year.
- Designate healthier food and beverage choices by using a “healthy icon” or listing calorie content.
- Offer personal nutrition assessments and counseling to all students.
“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.”
PHA works with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. Created in 2010 in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort, the Partnership brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity.