One of the first things I noticed when I first visited Colby, which was also noted in one of our lectures, is how fit people are here. Athletics are hugely popular and even people who are not involved in organized sports tend to stay in good shape. This is quite different than the rest of the population in Maine and across the country, where nearly 3 in 10 college age students is overweight Although there is some obesity at Colby, I am pretty confident that the rate here is much lower than the national average. Why is so Colby fit?
I think that one of the main factors that impacts Colby’s level of obesity is the weight of students before they even arrive. Colby as a small liberal arts school in the northeast in general tends to attract a well educated and athletic bunch of students. A selective admission department such as Colby’s looks favorably at those who have participated in sports while in high school. The groups hardest hit by the obesity epidemic are the disadvantaged. Colby, while having a diverse student body still tends to select students from a privileged background. Because students are well educated and they have been informed their whole lives about food choices and have been able to choose nutritious foods.
Despite the infamous freshman 15, Colby students stay in good shape while on campus. Colby has the advantage of having great athletic facilities coupled with a location that promotes outdoorsy type activities. Colby students stay active with a large percentage of students that are on sports teams or who regularly exercise. Colby students also have the opportunity to eat well while on campus as the dining halls provide options for healthy eating and portion control.
I think that looking at the small sample of people from school like Colby can show some of the social causes of America’s obesity problems, mainly a lack of exercise, a lack of proper nutrition, and poverty.