Campus diets need improvement

A recent study should encourage the University of Minnesota to improve campus food options.

A new University of Minnesota study found that a lack of healthy food options still plagues college campuses, the Minnesota Daily reported Monday.

According to the study, Twin Cities college students who lived off campus but purchased food on campus had similar diets as people who eat fast food regularly. The study also found that students who brought food from home were generally healthier.

The University should continue to look for ways to add more healthy options on campus. It will help that the two new campus eateries approved by the Board of Regents are committed to buying from local and organic producers. The University should also consider adding more healthy foods to the Gopher Express convenience stores.

About half of students in a 2012 Boynton Health Services Report reported being overweight, obese or extremely obese. While young adults are more likely to exercise, they generally eat fewer fruits and vegetables, the report said. Additionally, young adults eat fast food 2.5 times per week on average.

The University should also encourage students to bring food from home by adding more eating spaces across campus — not just in Coffman Union — and making more microwaves available. Campus study spaces have more vending machines than microwaves, but this creates a dependency for food options on campus.

The findings are troubling and should spur University officials to act. While it’s ultimately up to students to eat healthy, the University’s lack of healthy options and kitchenettes is a detriment to students’ diets.