Des Moines Area Community College announced it is joining 37 other colleges and universities across the nation to team up with the Partnership for a Healthier America Initiative. This initiative was developed in an effort to make campuses healthier by adopting guidelines around nutrition, physical activity and programming. First Lady Michelle Obama is the PHA honorary chair.
This initiative will impact approximately 36,000 students and more than 2,000 faculty and staff on all six DMACC campuses and six learning centers.
“Good health is in everyone’s best interest,” DMACC President Rob Denson said. “It leads to more productive workers and a happier, more rewarding life. All of our students, faculty and staff will greatly benefit from this important initiative.”
DMACC has agreed to implement the following guidelines plus more over the next three years:
Food and Nutrition
• Provide healthier food and beverage service: ensure at least 50 percent of vending machines’ content are healthier food products and beverage and label calories per serving at point of purchase for all items.
• Implement a local food procurement program that increases procurement of local and sustainable foods on campus and promote water consumption on campus by offering free water in all dining venues and all educational/physical activity facilities.
Physical Activity and Movement
• Create an environment that encourages healthier choices on campus: provide marked walking round on campus, one of which must be at least two miles long; post signage require cars to stop for pedestrians on campus; offer a bicycle share/rental program; implement a campus-wide program/policy that incentivizes the use of public or campus provided transportation.
• Encourage student physical activity: provide students with free access to at least one fitness/recreation center at least 16 hours/day; offer at least 20 diverse recreation, physical activity/movement or competitive sports opportunities during each academic year; offer fitness center orientation during the first semester for all incoming students free of charge; make certified personal trainers available for all students.
• Implement an integrated, comprehensive wellness program for individuals on campus that is provided annually and a policy that supports and accommodates breastfeeding for mothers on campus.
For more information on PHA's Healthier Campus Initiative, visit www.ahealthieramerica.org/campuses.