Delaware State University wants students to eat their vegetables. The university is pushing to improve student health with the Healthy Hornets on the Move program.
Marianne Carter, director for Center of Health Promotion says, “in many cases these students that are here at Del State, it’s their first time on their own, so mom isn’t telling them eat your vegetables or go out and get some activity. This is a time when the students have to make their own decisions.”
“We are trying to teach college students to be more physically active, to eat better, to lose weight, to not smoke, and things related,” Carter adds.
In response to this problem the university’s one year old multidisciplinary program was designed to promote healthy living among college students.
“The Healthy Hornets program is a wellness program for students and what we’re trying to do is to teach college students healthy lifestyle habits,” Carter says.
A common perception when students go away to college for the first time is the freshman 15. Carter calls that a myth. Studies have shown that freshmen can gain anywhere from just a few pounds to more than 15 pounds. The college setting brings all you can eat options, the cafeteria, and late night study sessions accompanied by take-out, she says.
The program also include an on-line magazine, Student Health 101. The magazine covers topics from how to get along with your roommate to how to eat well, Carter says. Students contribute articles about adjusting to the college environment.
In its first year, the Healthy Hornets on the Move program has provided students with health seminars, health displays, and brought in gymnast Dominique Dawes as a motivational speaker.
Carter is currently working on the Way To Go program where students can get a weight check and make weekly goals. These takes place at DSU’s Wellness and Recreation Center.
In the near future the program plans to conduct more health screenings to detect and hope to stop bad habits before they become serious, and collect health data on students.
Carter wants the program to gain more exposure in hopes that more students will get involved with the program and other wellness programs.
Editors note: Nydrea Gause is a student at Delaware State and interns for Newsworks and WHYY.