Posted: February 15, 2017 at 6:06 pm
By Andrew Perez, Alexa Ciattarelli and Kyle Monroe
West Virginia now has the second highest adult obesity rate in the country at 35.6 percent. At the top of West Virginia lies Morgantown and its flagship college West Virginia University.
Like many college towns, food options are in abundance in Morgantown, but fast food is beyond plentiful.
According to Cindy Fitch, director of the WVU Extension Service Families and Health Programs, students have a simple and effortless path to unhealthy food.
“We tend to have easy access to food that is high in calories but low in nutrients and we eat more of it,” Fitch said
Eating healthy can be a tall task within itself, but with all the distractions in and around WVU it can seem impossible. According to WVU Dining Services Dietician Camilla McMillen, it comes down to the choices that students make. However, college and good decisions do not necessarily go hand in hand.
For those who need help bettering themselves, McMillen offers free counseling to all WVU students. Still, McMillen said students sometimes look for fast change and get disappointed.
“A lot of [students] are coming for weight loss and healthy eating,” McMillen said. “A lot of them want quick results and it is frustrating for them to realize there are changes they have to make and stick with.”
The WVU dining services website describes healthy U as “Chefs provide healthy options at our five all-you-care-to-eat Dining Centers. Every Dining Center has a Healthy “U” certified dish available daily for lunch and dinner.
Dining halls are usually the most convenient options for students living on campus, but more extravagant options are now offered. McMillen says a lot of students are gravitating to the new Evansdale Crossing.
While the Crossing has healthier options like I Love Juice Bar and Tazikis Mediterranean Café, the other restaurants offer Mexican food, fried chicken, and barbecue. According to, McMillan, students need to be careful eating at Evansdale Crossing.
“[Students] feel that [Evansdale Crossing] can give them some healthier options, but in reality, if you look at some of the options, not so much,” McMillen said. “I don’t think students are seeing the whole picture that a burrito there, when you calculate it up, is almost 1200 calories. That’s a whole day for someone”
A more health conscious option on Evansdale is the Greenhouse. Opened in 2014, it is known as “Evansdale’s hidden gem.” The greenhouse offers smoothies, sandwiches, vegan/vegetarian options, and other nutritious snacks.
While unhealthy options may be numerous at WVU, the healthy options are there if you know where to look. At the end of the day, students are going to have to make the right choices.
Those who do make healthy choices can find it very rewarding. Senior Shannon Wilson, a communication studies major emphasizing in health, started making better decisions regarding her health and it has transformed her life.