Students actually use campus wellness programs, study says

YPulse releases Essentials of College and University Wellness Programs study.

YPulse, a youth-based market research firm, released Essentials of College and University Wellness Programs, which examined the importance and effectiveness of campus wellness programs. The company used four internet-based surveys delivered to four audiences--chefs, students, foodservicedirectors and campus dietitians—to gauge the importance of wellness programs on campus.

Study Highlights

  • 82% of college operators stated that their campus has a wellness policy or program in place. 45% stated there is a wellness program pending.
  • 62% of students surveyed said they were aware of their campus dining’s wellness program, with 54% reporting that they have taken advantage of the program.
  • The top five components of most campus wellness programs are education, adding healthier options, providing a registered dietitian on campus, physical activity combined with nutrition and posting information about healthy options via website.
  • The top five components that students actually use are fitness programs, healthy dining options, stress management, nutrition education and weight management.
  • 43% of students reported that they were satisfied with their campus wellness program, with 34% reported being very satisfied.
  • Some of the top obstacles operators cited when implementing a wellness program included defining measureable objectives (52%), resources (42%) and student interest (39%).

More From FoodService Director

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We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

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I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

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This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

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