In the past decade, along with more personal laptops and iPods, incoming college students are also bringing decidedly less desirable baggage: food allergies.
According to a 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, since 1997 the number of Americans under the age of eighteen with food allergies has risen from 2.3 to 3 million. Because of the increased prevalence in that age group, campus cafeterias, including the UW’s, have had to adjust.
But luckily for allergy-stricken Badgers, the Division of University Housing has developed ways to feed every nutritional need.
Not only does the UW have a Web site students can visit to identify the ingredients in food items on that night’s menu, but it also offers made-to-order meals so students can choose what ingredients to exclude in a certain dish.
Nevertheless, Denise Bolduc ’79, MS’96, assistant food-service director for University Housing, encourages incoming students to contact her before the school year starts to help avoid illnesses caused by allergies.
“It’s important for the students who are coming here with allergies to know their diet well, and what they can have and not have,” Bolduc says. “It’s important for them to ask for help before they get here.”
Published in the Fall 2010 issue