Each fall, Student Health & Wellness offers students an incentive health program to encourage healthier food choices at the University of Iowa. For the fall of 2015, SHW partnered with the UI liveWell staff wellness program, to develop a new, UI-specific plan for both students and staff. The resulting program, BinGO HAWKS, allowed participants to complete various nutrition activities at their own pace and on their own schedule.
BinGO HAWKS challenged individuals to make healthy eating choices for a five week period during September and October. Participant improvement categories included: Fiber, Fruits, Vegetables, Lean Protein, and Hydration.
Students and staff were also emailed tips and recipes, and offered cooking demonstrations, to help them complete the program’s suggested activities for Bingo. Prizes were available as a participant incentive.
BinGO HAWKS enrolled 812 people, surpassing previous nutrition programs’ participation figures by more than 100.
Some of the program results are as follows:
- 451 of the 812 enrolled students completed the post-program survey
- Over 97% of participants completed at least one bingo
- 17% of participants completed a blackout (all bingos achieved)
Overall, BinGO HAWKS was shown to be effective in increasing healthy eating behaviors. Average daily servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and water increased significantly among participants.
“Students and faculty/staff enjoyed the challenges to eating better that were part of the program, as well as the fun format and variety of activities,” says JoAnn Daehler-Miller, Dietitian with Student Health & Wellness.