Boston Schools Make ‘Healthiest Colleges in America’ List

Boston University, Tufts, and UMass Amherst were recognized.

By | Hub Health |

Because Boston is a city of world-class hospitals and healthcare, it comes as no surprise that some of our area universities were on Greatist’s “25 Healthiest Colleges in the U.S.” list.

Greatist’s rankings were based on nominations from readers, the universities’ food choices, fitness facilities, health services, health and fitness initiatives, and the general happiness of the student bodies. University of Massachusetts, Amherst came in 9th on the list, while Boston University was ranked 19th, and Tufts rounded out the list at number 25.

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst Fitness Center. Photo via UMass Amherst Facebook.

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst Fitness Center. Photo via UMass Amherst Campus Recreation Facebook.

UMass Amherst came in 9th because of their fitness classes and food choices:

At the forefront of fitness trends, UMass Amherst offers classes in Tabata training, P90X, and reggae-tone (see what they did there?). UMass is also home to UFIT, a 10-week class designed to help participants shed a few pounds and — most importantly — maintain a healthy lifestyle. The class provides a free pedometer and fitness log book to keep track of individualized workout programs. The best part: the class fosters a positive environment (with major motivation from peers) plus discussions on exercise, nutrition, and healthy living. And UMass Amherst dining hall menus look more like fancy-schmancy restaurants than less-than-desirable cafeteria grub. (We’re talking crabmeat quiche, curried chickpeas and quinoa, barley roasted tomato risotto, a sushi bar, and a standalone vegetarian station.)

Boston University's fitness and recreation center. Image via Boston University FitRec Facebook.

Boston University’s fitness and recreation center. Image via Boston University FitRec Facebook.

Boston University’s cafeteria also received a positive write up, and their ample offerings of fitness classes may have put them on the list. According to the article:

At BU’s Sargent Choice Nutrition Center, chefs whip up recipes featuring whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, heart-healthy oils, and tons of fruit and veggies. Students then taste test the creations before they hit the dining hall menus. Some of the latest offerings include yellow gazpacho soup with spicy shrimp, pear carpaccio, shrimp and mango salad with whole-wheat couscous and summer vegetables, and heart-healthy oatmeal raisin cookies. The school also hosts special themed meals, like lobster night, as well as a visiting chef series. Vegetarian-friendly meals make up 80 percent of the dining hall menus, and vegans aren’t left without a good meal, either. And with more than 100 phys ed classes offered per semester and more than 7,000 students participating in intramurals, BU kids find time to get fit with peers.

Tufts, which barely made its way onto the list, was commended for the organic food choices in the university’s cafeteria and for it’s F.I.T. (Fitness and Individual Development) program, which introduces freshman to fitness, wellness, and nutritional programming. According to the article, Tufts students can even book five free personal training sessions at the gym.