Freshers get healthy kick start to university experience

 A health academic at Robert Gordon University has designed a pilot programme to help new students learn how to eat healthily.

RGU Health Promotion Specialist, Gil Barton, has teamed up with Asda to provide all 120 new undergraduate arrivals at the School of Health Sciences with a healthy food pack.

The students will receive the packs during their induction week before beginning their studies in physiotherapy, radiography, occupational therapy and sports & exercise science.

The packs will be made up of a number of items - donated and packed individually by Asda - which have been selected to give the new arrivals a healthy start to their new university lifestyle, including:

  • 500g of spaghetti
  • 1 kilo of easy cook rice
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tin of mandarin oranges
  • 1 tin of cooked carrots
  • 1 tin of tuna

In addition, the university’s sport facility, RGU: SPORT, will provide water sports bottles and The Healthy Living Award have provided recipes leaflets.

The students will be encouraged to complete a short online questionnaire on the pack about healthy eating and all names will be entered into a prize draw. The prize, which is free lunch for a year, has been donated by the university’s catering company, Aramark.

To provide information and guidance, students have been timetabled for a ‘Healthy Eating’ session given by Gil Barton and Dr Eimer Dolan, a sports & exercise lecturer who specialises in the interactions between nutrition, physical activity and health. The session will be light hearted but informative. To support this, a cooking demonstration given by one of the chefs using one of the healthy food packs has been videoed and will be available to students on the School of Health Sciences core webpages.

Gil Barton commented: “The importance of healthy eating is well known. Students are very often leaving home for the first time and having to manage the budgeting and cooking of their own food. It’s a daunting time for many and it opens an important opportunity for universities to step in and offer guidance.

“As the health professionals of tomorrow, our students will be champions of healthy lifestyles. This new initiative contains this message at its core and should help kick start their university experience on the best footing.”


Issued by:

Sarah Grieve
Communications Office
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262210