Time to weigh-in: an analysis of what, if anything, U.S. public 2-year colleges in the SACS region are doing to curb obesity among their students
American higher education's mission has always been to educate the "whole" student. Educating the entire student includes nurturing their academic, emotional, social, vocational, moral, spiritual, economic, and physical development to ensure they are prepared to successfully compete in a changing global society in and after college. Each area of a college student's life is important and deserves attention; however, higher education institutions often overlook students' physical health. This is unfortunate because every student is affected by health, and a direct relationship exists between student health and academic success. Healthy students are more likely to persist in college. It is time for students' physical health to get more attention, because over 30% of college students are overweight or obese, and this statistic is expected to worsen. The prevalence of obesity and its comorbidities were found to be higher among community college students. The purpose of the study was to review what, if anything, public 2-year colleges accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) classified as rural, suburban, and urban are doing to address obesity among their student populations. This quantitative study used Qualtrics to distribute an electronic 17-item survey to senior student affairs administrators at 289 U.S. public community colleges in the SACS region classified as rural, suburban, and urban. Descriptive statistics were used to organize, analyze, and interpret survey data. Chapter IV will present results of the research.