Developing a School Wellness Program
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As many of you are aware, childhood obesity is one of our nation's leading health threats. Today, about 1 in 3 children and youth (ages 2-19) in the United States is already overweight or obese -- that's nearly 25 million young people.
- Disappearing recess: Nearly one-third of elementary schools do not schedule recess on a regular basis.
- Less physical education: 92% of elementary schools do not have daily physical education classes year-round. About 1/3 of high school students take daily physical education classes.
- Unregulated nutrition: Foods offered in school vending machines are often of little nutritional value and can be loaded with fats, sugars, salt and calories.
- Poor nutrition: Only about 20 percent of high school seniors report eating fruit and green vegetables five or more times a day.
- Diabetes on the rise: Type 2 diabetes used to be called "adult-onset diabetes." Now, the rise in childhood obesity is linked to a dramatic rise in the number of children suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Some experts believe that if obesity among kids continues to increase at this rate, our current generation could become the FIRST in American history to live shorter lives than their parents.
There is no single cause and no single solution for childhood obesity. As a result, school health programs are moving the needle by collaborating with parents, students, community members and business partners to transform schools into healthy campuses. By assessing your current school wellness program, following a step-by-step roadmap for success, implementing best-practice resources, developing sustainable action plans and writing school wellness policies to ensure sustainability, your school will transform into a healthier place for students to learn, play and grow.
AuthorsMichelle Owens, Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Jennifer Walker, Independence School District
Overview of a School Wellness Program
• Roadmap for Making School Health Changes - 6 Step Process
• Creating a School Wellness Council
• Evaluating Your School Environment
• Celebrating Success Through National Recognition
Components of the School Wellness Programs That Help Create Successful Implementation
• Ideas to Get Kids Moving Before, During and After the School Day
• Free Tools and Resources to Infuse More Physical Activity and Nutrition Education Into the School Environment
• Utilizing Community Partners to Provide Physical Activity and Nutrition Education
Partnering With Local Health Care Providers for Sustainable School Wellness Programs
• Connecting Children and Families to Physical Activities in the Community
• Educating Children and Families on Healthy Eating Strategies