America's healthiest colleges and universities

Cramming for exams, gobbling cafeteria food and boozing it up at weekend frat parties generally do not add up to a healthy lifestyle for college students.

healthiest colleges and universities

To make matters worse, thousands of college students lack health insurance. According to a 2007 survey released by the University of Minnesota's Boynton Health Service, 9 percent of the 10,000 undergraduates surveyed did not have health insurance. The study found that those who did have insurance logged fewer sick days and more frequently sought out preventive health services.

Regardless of whether a student has health insurance, some campuses promote better health than others. Using guidelines from the American College Health Association as well as reviews and rankings from CollegeProwler.com, InsuranceQuotes.com offers a rundown of the healthiest colleges and universities across the country.

Health and safety

The convenience and quality of services offered at the student health centers and the overall safety of the campuses got a clean bill of health for these 10 schools, according to CollegeProwler.com.

1. Ave Maria University (Florida).

2. Colgate University (New York).

3. Furman University (South Carolina).

4. Grove City College (Pennsylvania).

5. Hollins University (Virginia).

6. Juniata College (Pennsylvania).

7. Lawrence University (Wisconsin).

8. Luther College (Iowa).

9. Providence College (Rhode Island).

10. Wheaton College (Illinois).

Colleges and universities with good student health services offer an array of primary and preventive health services on campus, with fees on a sliding scale, says Janice Frates, professor of health care administration at California State University in Long Beach. Frates says those same colleges and universities should have ties to affordable providers of specialty care, medical testing, prescription drugs, and public health services for students who have serious medical problems.

For student reviews of college and university health and safety, visit CollegeProwler.com.

Food

Colleges and universities aren't known for their haute cuisine, but some school food does stand out. The quality of school-run dining halls and independent on-campus restaurants as well as food price, availability and variety put these schools at the top of the food chain, according to CollegeProwler.com.

1. Bowdoin College (Maine).

2. California Baptist University.

3. Claremont McKenna College (California).

4. Colby College (Maine).

5. Pitzer College (California).

6. Stanford University (California).

7. University of Georgia.

8. Virginia Tech.

9. Washington University (Missouri).

10. Bryn Mawr College (Pennsylvania).

Andrea Giancoli, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, warns that the "the food you eat and your opportunities to engage in activity may change" when you're enrolled in college. To overcome that, Giancoli recommends that you "stick with healthy eating options such as Subway and look for ways to increase your activity to stay healthy on campus."

For student reviews of college and university food, visit CollegeProwler.com.

Sports

High-quality athletic facilities and gyms, respected sports programs and well-attended games put these schools at the top of the athletic class, according to CollegeProwler.com:

1. Duke University (North Carolina).

2. Louisiana State University.

3. Ohio State University.

4. Oklahoma State University.

5. Syracuse University (New York).

6. University of Alabama.

7. University of Connecticut.

8. University of Florida.

9. University of Georgia.

10. University of Kentucky.

Top-notch college gyms are not just about plenty of space and equipment, says Irv Rubenstein, an exercise physiologist and president of STEPS (Scientific Training and Exercise Prescription Specialists) Inc. in Nashville, Tenn.

"Comprehensive programming, from exercise classes to wellness programs -- such as fitness testing and counseling -- are also important components," Rubenstein says. A good on-campus "club sports" program includes activities ranging from martial arts and wrestling to dance and Zumba, he says.

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