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RC 19th Healthiest College In The Country. Is That Good Enough?


Courtney Francisco

Staff Writer

We Are Number… 19??

Roanoke College prides itself on its food.  Many schools have bad cafeteria food and a fast food restaurant or two. Roanoke has a buffet with a dessert bar, and special holiday dinners that so many students look forward to. The Commons staff works hard to make sure students get what they pay for. However, there is one effort that needs some more attention: better healthy options for students. Some small changes in the menu would make a great difference in the well-being of the students.

Stress and unhealthy eating have a huge impact on RC students. College students are more susceptible to weight gain and unhealthy lifestyles because of their stress. 85% of college students report that they feel stressed on a daily basis. When the body and mind feel stressed, the body goes into survival mode. It creates unnecessary hunger and cravings for sugary and starchy foods, which consequently leads to weight gain and fatigue.  Also considering the lack of sleep and the numbers of students who drink, college students have so many odds against their health. By offering more fried and sugary options than everything else, the school is contributing to the everyday stress that students have to experience.

In order to help reverse this path, we need to have better healthy options available to students. Although it is up to each individual to make healthy choices for themselves, the menu should not encourage the unhealthy option.

Katie Schlimmer ’11 said, “It’s not that we don’t have healthy options, it’s just that the unhealthy ones are so much better.” 

Small changes such as more fresh vegetables and fruits, options for whole wheat pasta and brown rice, a decrease in the frequency of fried food, and nutrition information for the main entrees would make a huge difference. While taking into account that fresh fruits and veggies are more expensive, we should also realize that the tuition will increase nearly $2,000 next year.

In the past three decades, the number of obese children has tripled.  Currently, 60% of all American adults are overweight. At the rate America is going, by 2030, studies show that all American adults will be obese.  Our future rests upon the choices that we make today.  Do you want your children to be a part of this statistic?  Start moving for a change in these small ways that can make such a grand impact for now and for your health in the future.

When I came here for a tour, the tour guide told our group that RC was voted the 19th healthiest college in the country.  Shouldn’t we save the bragging rights for the single digits?  Shouldn’t we be working to be able to rank higher than number 19?