Feeding the Mind, Nurturing the Body and Soul

Aug. 24, 2015

Photo: FJ Gaylor

Taking the whole-person approach seriously, the University of Arizona either facilitates or supports a major suite of offerings designed to ensure that students are not only academically successful, but that they also lead healthy lifestyles.

The UA has been recognized for this work. Last year, the University was named among the top 25 healthiest colleges in the U.S. by the Greatist Team.

Here, we present a sampling of offerings designed to support students — body and mind.

For mental health

The UA's Counseling and Psych Services at Campus Health Service offers a number of consultative services to University students.

The UA also offers a number of resources for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender that are both supportive and social in nature, including the LGBTQA+ Support Group and the Gender Spectrum Support Group. Both groups are facilitated by the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Affairs. A number of organizations also exist on campus in support of LGBT students.

For physical health

Campus Recreation offers the full array of fitness options: club sports, activity classes, challenge programs, intramural sports, aquatics and more.

Also, the UA supports numerous student-led clubs and organizations that promote health, wellness and overall fitness, including those devoted to different types of dance, cycling and self-improvement.

Elsewhere, and in response to student requests, the UA Libraries has introduced stand-up desks. Some members of the library staff recently began using the desks, which are known to help reduce risks associated with obesity and metabolic problems. The library also has introduced several desks on the second floor of the main library. The desks are first come, first serve.

For proper nutrition

Arizona Student Unions is consistently surveying students and employees about food options, offering foods that are gluten free, vegetarian and vegan.

The UA is so committed to promoting healthy lifestyles among the student body that it hired registered dietitian Christine Carlson to help revise and expand menus, to ensure that students have access to more choices. Carlson is working in tandem with UA executive chef Michael Omo to expand options for students with special dietary requirements.

For example, the Student Union and Park Student Union each offers gluten-free options. In fact, Core+ at the Park Student Union is entirely gluten-free and also a tree nut/peanut free facility, offering salads, fajitas and stir fry, among other options. Students also can connect with the UA Gluten Free club.

Other options include Nosh at the Park Student Union and Fuel at the Student Recreation Center. At the Student Union, Pangea's world fare offers 10 food stations changing daily, including carved lean meats, artisan salads, fire-roasted vegetables, custom-created ramen bowls, whole grain breads and pasta, whole fruit and more. The Chobani Creation Bar is also at the Student Union.

The Union's sports nutrition program, “Eat Like a C.H.A.M.P.," has expanded from Bear Down Kitchen to Fuel in the Student Recreation Center and McKale Center.

Also, the Den by Denny's at the Park Student Union's remodeled upstairs food court has options to substitute healthier choices.

In addition to offering nutritional information about various outlets, the UA offers the Smart Moves program to help students more easily identify campus programs, services and food options that encourage and promote active, healthy lifestyles.