Er, Surprise? Penn State Named Among Healthiest Colleges in America

Pennsylvania State University | Photo via Facebook

Pennsylvania State University | Photo via Facebook

Here’s one I can’t say I saw coming: Wellness website Greatist put out a list of the healthiest college campuses in the country, and lo and behold, PA’s own Penn State University made the cut—at No. 10, no less.

Here’s what the website has to say about the Nittany Lions:

Penn State’s commitment to healthful food options means extensive salad bars, smaller portions, complete nutritional info available for meals, and an educational program that helps students make healthier food choices. Campus health services offer comprehensive medical care from physicians. Counseling services are available for students who need help with stress management, sexual and relationship violence, group therapy, and crisis intervention. In addition to the medical care and counseling available, the university is also home to a separate office for health promotion and wellness, which provides resources and education on sexual health, smoking cessation, drugs and alcohol, fitness and nutrition, and eating disorders. During the academic year, the school offers a race, run, or walk almost every weekend. Anyone who needs to chill should visit the campus “De-Stress Zone,” which features biofeedback programs and soundtracks to help students rest and relax.

I have nothing against Penn State, of course, but it’s just not a school I’d assume had much going on in the way of health and wellness. Football, yes. Frat parties, yes. But wellness? Er…

“I can actually see that there would be plenty of opportunity and potential to be healthy while at Penn State, because it’s so big and there are so many businesses in town and programs affiliated with the school,” says Wedding editor Carrie Denny, who’s also a Penn State alum. “Whether or not the punks who go there opt to utilize it all might be another story, though.” (By the by, Carrie counts herself among said punks: “I ate and drank my face off for four years,” she says of her Penn State experience.)

Greatist compiled its list by taking nominations from readers; consulting research done by the Princeton Review, Trojan’s Sexual Health Report Card and the Jed Foundation; and finally scoring schools for their dining services, fitness facilities, health services, wellness initiatives and other measures. From there, 25 schools made the cut.

Others that appear on the list include University of Denver (#5), Vanderbilt University (#8), University of Iowa (#14), Virginia Tech (#19) and Yale University (#25). University of Pittsburgh also made the cut, at #7. Clemson University topped the list at #1.

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