Creating Healthier Places

University of Houston

2018 Progress Report

Year Committed: 2016
Length of Commitment: 3 years

Committed to meet 23 guidelines—developed by PHA in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading nutrition, physical activity and campus wellness experts—around nutrition, physical activity, and programming on campus.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      Offer tray-less dining in at least seventy-five percent (75%) of dining venues.
    • Progress To Date

      The University of Houston implemented tray-less dining in its Moody Towers Dining Commons and Cougar Woods Dining Commons in 2008.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2019
    • Reporting Date

      June 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer a minimum five (5) types of fruits, five (5) types of vegetables and two (2) 100% whole grain products at both lunch and dinner (if served).
    • Progress To Date

      University of Houston offers at least five fruits, five vegetables, and two 100% whole grain options at both lunch and dinner.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2019
    • Reporting Date

      June 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer only a total number of fried foods that does not exceed the total number of platforms available at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (if served) across all venues.
    • Progress To Date

      The University of Houston offers fewer total fried foods than the total number of platforms available at both lunch and dinner at the Cougar Woods Dining Commons and Moody Towers Dining Commons.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2019
    • Reporting Date

      June 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Label food and beverage items offered with calories per serving at the point of presentation OR Designate healthier food and beverage options using a healthy icon at the point of presentation.
    • Progress To Date

      The University of Houston identifies all food and beverages with calories and uses the Chartwells "Balanced U" healthy icon system at the point of presentation. Foods and beverages marked with the "Balanced" icon meet specific calorie, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium limits.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2019
    • Reporting Date

      June 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Implement a comprehensive, strategic product placement/merchandizing program/policy within dining venues to encourage healthier food consumption
    • Progress To Date

      The University of Houston employs the Chartwells "Balanced U" health, wellness and sustainability platform to encourage students and faculty to select healthier lifestyle dining options. Chartwells engages students through various social media outlets and campus specific technologies providing students with instant access to nutrition information. Each month a different superfood is featured and incorporated into menus at Moody Towers and Cougar Woods Dining halls with signage and an educational blog post highlighting its nutritional benefits.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2019
    • Reporting Date

      June 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Make free water available in all dining, recreational and educational facilities.
    • Progress To Date

      University of Houston makes free water available in all dining, recreational and educational facilities. As of June 2018, the University has installed over 100 water bottle filling stations through its UH20 initiative.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2019
    • Reporting Date

      June 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Provide, without a user fee, sixteen (16)-hour per day access to at least one (1) fitness or recreation center for all students.
    • Progress To Date

      The University of Houston provides students with free access to the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center for 15.1 hours per day, on average, each week.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2019
    • Reporting Date

      June 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Implement an integrated, comprehensive wellness program for individuals on campus that is provided annually.
    • Progress To Date

      University of Houston Wellness seeks to empower the campus community to make healthy choices across all dimensions of wellness through evidence-based programs and services that contribute to student success. All members of the campus community are encouraged to make and engage in healthy, balanced lifestyle choices through integrated wellness programs, services and resources. Wellness activities are promoted with physical signage, online and via social media. Residential Life also includes physical activity and nutrition training in their RA training curriculum through a collaboration with Dining Services and the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2019
    • Reporting Date

      June 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Implement a service learning program available to all students that focuses on food and nutrition and/or physical activity/movement and/or coaching.
    • Progress To Date

      The University of Houston offers undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate students, of all majors, with a variety of unique service learning opportunities related to health and wellness. The Cougar Peer Education program, sponsored by University of Houston Wellness, trains student volunteers to educate their peers about how to make healthier choices and create safer environments on campus. The Houston-area Opportunities in Undergraduate Student Training in Obesity & Nutrition (HOUSTON) Academy is a USDA-funded undergraduate training program housed at the University of Houston. HOUSTON Academy undergraduate students develop nutrition education workshops, conduct research and participate in a variety of applied experiences with community partners on nutrition, childhood obesity prevention and reduction of food insecurity. Student interns and volunteers support the BOUNCE community outreach and research initiative at the College of Education dedicated to reducing obesity-related diseases among underserved communities in Houston. The Texas Obesity Research Center internship program trains students in research methods investigating psychosocial, environmental and biologic determinants of obesity and its consequences. Among other things, students conduct physiological assessments (e.g., measuring metabolic rate and muscle function) and physical health assessments (e.g., resting heart rate, blood pressure, height, weight and percent body fat).

    • Implementation Date

      April 2019
    • Reporting Date

      June 2018

Partner Statement

“Over the past year, the University of Houston has continued its effort to create a culture of health and wellness on campus by implementing the majority of the partnership requirements. Left to submit are the healthier vending initiative and the 2 mile walking path, as well as additional supporting documentation for the annual wellness programming guideline and food/nutrition guidelines.

"While the vending initiative and walking routes have proven to be significant challenges, we have continued to work on these and have made some progress. We hope to be able submit both in early spring 2019. We plan to submit documentation for the other outstanding guidelines at that time as well. On a side note - although not one of the guidelines we selected, we are pleased to share with you that the University now has a bike-share program on campus!”