Health, nutrition classes should be added to gen ed requirements

Many college students aren’t getting the nutrition they need, according to USA Today. In fact, most students aren’t eating even one serving of fruit or vegetables a day. With Geneseo’s wide-reaching breadth of general education requirements, it’s shocking to see that basic nutrition classes and physical education courses aren’t a mandatory part of the curriculum.

Though Geneseo has some healthy choices available in the dining halls, many students rely on a delicious slice of pizza or give in to the allure of chicken fingers—especially on the weekends—for a quick meal. 

Having a balanced diet is key to having a healthy life, but the costs of affording healthy food provides a barrier that students are hesitant to cross. 

CUNY schools have taken the initiative of providing healthier options in the snack and vending machines, but it’s important for more colleges to make health a priority. 

In Geneseo, the presence of the Geneseo Farmer’s Market on Main Street is a great alternative to the prices of on-campus eating. Not only does it provide cheaper, healthier fresh options, but it also supports local businesses. 

Additionally, sites such as—from the United States Department of Agriculture—encourage college students to create proper dietary guidelines. The site also hosts an ambassadorship program to encourage college student’s involvement. This is another tool we can use to encourage healthy eating on campus.

These are all options available for students who want to get involved. Making healthy eating and lifestyle choices a part of Geneseo students’ curriculum is a productive way to see change in the lives of students today.

A quick google search on college health classes had minimal information at best; instead of providing courses that are used in campus settings, I had to do a bit of finagling to find any information on something other than avoiding the “Freshman 15.”

Luckily, Geneseo does have a site dedicated to healthy habits; the site also offers links to more information all in one place. Even if this link is available, however, a search on Knightweb did not reveal much in regard to available health courses. 

The most common class listed as of late is “Health and Safety Issues,” and students can get academic credit for some varsity sports and physical education classes. 

Spots in these classes are limited, however, and they aren’t required. For a school with such expansive general education requirements, there is no excuse as to why Geneseo shouldn’t incorporate healthy eating and lifestyle skills that students will actually use in daily life. 

An English major may not need a math class or a physics major may never critique a book using a postcolonial lens, but every student has a body that they should have to take classes on to learn about basic nutrition and health. 

When students aren’t getting a full serving of fruits and vegetables a day, it’s critical that we have more options readily available to promote healthy living among the college community.