Wellness fair raises health concerns: Is the university doing enough to provide healthy food options?

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Is the university doing enough to provide healthy food options?

UVU wellness programs organized a health fair to provide students with information about the need for exercise, healthy eating habits, regular cancer screenings and the dangers of vaping in the Science Building Atrium March 8-9.

Berkley Alvey, a senior in community health, discussed the risks involved in vaping. Admitting that there is a lack of long-term data regarding e-cigarettes, she was still able to say with confidence that the chemical found in them, diacetyl, can lead to fatal lung disease.

“Basically, what we’re doing in our booth today is just spreading awareness. You know, you can’t tell people what to do, but [we can] educate people and help them know the dangers of these e-cigarettes, and then they can choose what they want to do from there,” said Alvey.

Around a dozen booths were set up at the fair, each offering different advice on staying healthy and safe. One booth encouraged students to eat the recommended five fruit and vegetables per day, while another promoted awareness about drunk and drowsy driving.

“UVU is all about engaged learning and student success. Having a health fair, and teaching them about all the different aspects of health, helps them to be able to be engaged in life and be engaged in health,” said Trevor Carter, coordinator of wellness programs.

Despite the emphasis on healthy living that the school is promoting, some students disagree about the responsibility the university has in providing healthy food options on campus.

“I don’t think UVU really has good options. I see a lot of fast food,” said Taylor Hill, a sophomore biology major. “I see a really poorly publicized cafeteria over here that they’re getting rid of [Valley View Cafeteria]; It really is the university’s responsibility, especially when statistics clearly show from multiple studies that the university is causing people to gain weight at an extremely unhealthy rate. It’s really just kind of a joke.”

Alex Cordner, a senior biochemistry major, also had some reservations about campus food. “I don’t really like the cafeteria food a ton,” he said. “It seems like they try, but they could do better.”

Zack Cromar, a sophomore software biology major, has a slightly different opinion. “I definitely care about health, but I think it’s up to everyone to balance their own diet, so as far as a university I don’t think it’s really their job necessarily make people eat healthy,” he said. “There’s a Walmart across the street, people should take advantage of what they have.”