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Oklahoma State University joins Partnership for a Healthier America to offer healthier choices

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oklahoma State University has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America, led by honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama, in a three-year commitment to make its campus healthier by adopting guidelines around food and nutrition, and physical activity and programming.

“Oklahoma State is proudly leading the way as Oklahoma’s first university to be recognized. The Partnership for a Healthier America aligns campuses across the country in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative toward healthy lifestyles and preventing childhood obesity,” said Dr. Suzy Harrington, OSU Chief Wellness Officer. “Oklahoma State graduates are future Oklahoma community members and parents. By impacting our students today, we are influencing tomorrow’s leaders.”    

The announcement was made at this week’s American Public Health Association annual meeting. Oklahoma State University is one of the initial 20 universities to sign on to the national initiative, which will collectively impact more than 500,000 students and 126,000 faculty and staff.

Partnership for a Healthier America created guidelines for universities to implement over the next three years. OSU has already implemented all 23 of the following guidelines as a leading campus in this initiative:

1. Offer on the menu a minimum of one (1) wellness meal at each breakfast, lunch and dinner meal. 

2. Offer a minimum five (5) types of fruits, five (5) types of vegetables and two (2) 100% whole grain products at both lunch and dinner.

3. Offer only a total number of fried foods that does not exceed the total number of platforms available at both lunch and dinner (if served) across all venues.

4. Offer and identify as healthier at point of presentation at least three (3) desserts at both lunch and dinner that have ≤150 calories as served. 

5. Identify food and beverage items using one (1) of the following strategies:

a. Label food and beverage items offered with calories per serving at the point of presentation;

b. Designate healthier food and beverage options using a healthy icon at the point of presentation.

6. Offer a plant-based food option at every platform serving meat.

7. Offer tray-less dining as the default system in at least seventy-five percent (75%) of dining venues.

8. Offer one (1) of the following healthier catering menu options:

a. Offer a minimum of three (3) types of fruits, three (3) types of vegetables,two (2) 100% whole grain products and no more than two (2) fried items on catering menus;

b. Offer a healthier catering menu that only includes foods and beverages that meet healthier food and nutrition guidelines.

9. Make free water available in all dining venues and all educational/physical activity facilities.

10. Make available Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) for personal nutrition assessments and counseling to all students.

11. Provide at least one (1) bicycle parking space on campus for every fifteen (15) individuals on campus.

12. Offer a bicycle share/rental program and/or a subsidized bicycle purchase program for all students.

13. Provide designated bicycle lanes on major roads and/or offer off-street bicycle paths throughout campus.

14. Implement a campus-wide program/policy that incentivizes the use of public or campus provided transportation.

15. Provide, without a user fee, sixteen (16) hours per day access to at least one (1) fitness/recreation center for all students.

16. Offer a minimum of twenty (20) diverse recreation, physical activity/movement or competitive sports opportunities during each academic year.

17. Offer, without a user fee, a minimum of one (1) monthly “how to” physical activity/ movement class that introduces students to new activities.

18. Provide at least one running/walking track that is open and available for use to individuals on campus and the community for at least three (3) hours per day.

19. Offer a rental outdoor recreation equipment program for students.

20. Make available certified personal trainers for all students.

21. Implement an integrated, comprehensive wellness program for individuals on campus that is provided annually. The program will include all of the following components:

a. A coordinating committee that includes student, faculty, administrative and staff representatives and meets at least quarterly;

b. Health and wellness education and activities for all individuals on campus;

c. Activities that incorporate provisions for individuals with disabilities (e.g., the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition’s I Can Do It, You Can Do It! or other programs);

d. A promotion plan to market the wellness program through at least one online venue and three physical venues on campus;

e. Provision of annual physical activity/movement and nutrition training for all resident assistants (RAs) to help them inform students about campus resources available for wellness.

22. Implement a service-learning program available to all students that focuses on food and nutrition, physical activity/movement and/or coaching.

23. Offer a rewards-on-benefits structured program that gives insurance premium discounts and/or rebates to individuals on campus who participate in a wellness program designated by the health insurer or campus.


As America’s Healthiest Campus, OSU is committed to the health and well-being of its students, employees and the community. To learn more, visit

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