Texas ranks top ten in healthiest colleges in the US

Sylvia Butanda

Health programs, services and healthy dining hall food options contributed to UT’s number seven place among the Top 25 healthiest colleges in the nation.

Greatist.com, a health and wellness blog, recently ranked the 25 healthiest colleges by taking student surveys from College Prowler and The Princeton Review, as well as nominations from readers. UCLA ranked number one.

Susan Hochman, interim assistant director for University Health Services, said the University offers a large number of high-quality, accessible resources to keep students healthy.

“University Health Services, which provides medical services, health promotion, a Center for Students in Recovery and other public health leadership was recently ranked by the Princeton Review as the fourth best student health services in the country and consistently receives high remarks for patient satisfaction,” Hochman said.
The seventh place ranking was mainly due to the efforts of the Wellness Network, a partnership made up of students, faculty and staff who work together to create a healthy campus community.

The Wellness Network brings together advocates for health and wellness from across UT in order to share information, strategies and resources,” Hochman said.

“Through this collaboration, we aim to shape the environment in which we learn, live, work and play to support overall health and healthy choices.”

Another contributing factor to the high rank was the Division of Housing and Food Services and their promotion of healthy dining options and their number of initiatives related to wellness, Hochman said.

Applied Learning and Development senior Sammie Hanks, president of the Health Promotion Club, said students are fortunate to attend a school that provides a healthy atmosphere.

“Being provided with these outlets promotes healthy living throughout our campus,” Hanks said. “This ranking is very honorable and is a motivation to continue to promote health, not only throughout our campus, but throughout the community as well.”

Scott Meyer, director of food service for DHFS, said the “Healthy Suggestions” food in the dining halls gives students healthy options for every meal.

“We realize that many students dine with us as freshman and oftentimes miss the comfort foods of home and turn to food items such as hamburgers, french fries and macaroni and cheese,” Meyer said. “We provide the comfort and indulgence food items mentioned, but also take strides to make students aware of the delicious, healthier alternatives that we offer such as our gluten free, vegan and vegetarian friendly dishes, quinoa and whole grain pasta and our local grass-fed beef.”