Expanding nutrition, not waist size
UH and ARAMARK food services are working hard to change the stigma that college students gain weight and eat unhealthy when coming to campus.
“We provide a variety of healthy options for students on campus,” said Amber Arguijo, marketing manager for ARAMARK – Higher Education at UH.
“Both residential restaurants, The Fresh Food Company at Moody Towers and the RFoC in Oberhotlzer, offer portion sizes that conform to USDA standards and make sure to include low-fat and fat-free options every day.”
With obesity being a nationwide epidemic, a recent study conducted at Auburn University tracked the changes in body, weight, body mass index and body composition of 131 college students over a four-year period. They found that the percentage of students classified as overweight or obese increased to 31 percent from 18 percent.
Mathematics freshman Jessica Garcia feels it’s easier to supply her own food.
“I just usually bring food from home to school with me because I think it’s cheaper and healthier,” Garcia said.
While many students will have access to more healthy options around campus, others are pleased with the current selections.
“I’m pretty satisfied with the food that is available on campus,” said engineering graduate Rachel Zhang.
Dining Services will be launching a new mobile app, Campus Dish, which will be available for free download on the iPhone, iPad and android app stores. The app will make it easy for students to search for meals that meet their own unique requirements. By simply putting the amount of calories and grams of fat desired in meals, students will be able to see menu options that fit those criteria and where they are available on campus.
Freshii, a new restaurant among the new restaurant’s choices to open once phase two of the UC is completed, specializes in healthy and sustainable food choices including customizable soups, salads, rice bowls and wraps.
Still, pricing weighs heavily on college students reasons for resorting to fast food.
“Students on a meal plan can select any of the healthy options in the residential restaurants for under five dollars per meal in many cases,” Arguijo said. “Subway offers five dollar foot longs and low pricing on combo meals.”