Childhood Obesity School

Child obesity prevention initiatives in schools

childhood obesity schoolToday’s youth don’t meet the recommended daily servings of vegetables and fruits. "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "51 percent of children and adolescents eat less than one serving a day of fruit, and 29 percent eat less than one serving a day of vegetables that are not fried." Children today drink less milk and more carbonated soft drinks. The consumption of non-citrus juices such as grape and apple mixtures increased by 280 percent. "According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), children drink 16 percent less milk now than in the late 1970's, and 16 percent more of carbonated soft drinks."

childhood obesity preventionCreating And Encouraging Healthy Eating Environment in Schools :

Encourage healthy nutrition in classrooms implementing a healthy classroom snack and classroom party policy :

• Implement a healthy classroom snack and classroom party policies to support healthy nutrition in the classroom. Teachers, and schools, can implement full-time or part-time classroom snack and classroom party policies that promote those foods in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005 (, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.

healthy classroom party• Plan classroom parties that comprise 100-percent juice or water, cheese/cracker trays, and vegetables with low-fat dip as well as items such as animal and graham crackers, fruit cups, and multi-grain bars.

• Implementing a classroom snack policy may also include an all-staff or all-student in-service assembly with fruit and vegetable taste-testing, and parent letters orienting all parties to the rationale and importance of the policy.

Implement a kid-friendly nutrition information sharing program in your school cafeteria :

• School canteens should be healthy and active. Foods which are being sold in the cafeteria should be considered for nutritional content. When students pass through a serving line, they should be given simple, easy-to-understand information on the items they select.

kid-friendly healthy school cafeteria

• Items such as pizza are labeled Whoa! Items such as spaghetti are labeled Slow! Fruits and vegetables are labeled Go! As such, students are able to quickly determine which foods are the smarter choices. Nutrition lessons in the classroom can help supplement this program.[Read more]

A coalition of five medical associations and the USDA proposed a "Prescription for Change: Ten Keys to Promote Healthy Eating in Schools" to be used for guidance in school nutrition programs. Their prescription is:

► Students, parents, food service staff, educators and community leaders will be involved in assessing the school's eating environment, developing a shared vision and an action plan to achieve it.
Adequate funds will be provided by local, state and federal sources to ensure that the total school environment supports the development of healthy eating patterns.
Behavior-focused nutrition education will be integrated into the curriculum from pre-K through grade 12. Staff who provide nutrition education will have appropriate training.
School meals will meet the USDA nutrition standards as well as provide sufficient choices, including new foods and foods prepared in new ways, to meet the taste preferences of diverse student populations.
All students will have designated lunch periods of sufficient length to enjoy eating healthy foods with friends. These lunch periods will be scheduled as near the middle of the school day as possible.
Schools will provide enough serving areas to ensure student access to school meals with a minimum of wait time.
Space that is adequate to accommodate all students and pleasant surroundings that reflect the value of the social aspects of eating will be provided.
Students, teachers and community volunteers who practice healthy eating will be encouraged to serve as role models in the school dining areas.
If foods are sold in addition to National School Lunch Program meals, they will be from the five major food groups of the Food Guide Pyramid. This practice will foster healthy eating patterns.
Decisions regarding the sale of foods in addition to the National School Lunch Program meals will be based on nutrition goals, not on profit making.

childhood obesity schoolCreating And Promoting Active Environment In Schools :

Promote opportunities for students to engage in physical activity :

• It has been recommended that children (ages 6-19) should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, all days of the week if possible. The school setting should offer multiple opportunities for all students, not just those who are lithely inclined, to enjoy physical activity through physical education and other opportunities outside of physical education classes such as walking to and from school, enjoying recess, physical activity clubs, and intramural sports programs, and having classroom lessons that incorporate physical activities.

preventing child obesity through increased physical activity in schools

Execute physical education curriculum :

• It is suggested that schools should implement physical education curriculum using state or national physical education standards. Physical education gives opportunities to students to be active during the school day and helps them learn the knowledge, outlook, skills, behaviors, and confidence needed to be physically active for life.

physical education in schools

• School districts need to perform a clear, complete, and steady analysis of written physical education curricula, based upon national physical education standards. The Physical Education Curricula Assessment Tool is available for self-assessment and is customizable to include local standards. The results from the analysis can help school districts enhance existing curricula, develop their own curricula, or select a published curriculum, for the delivery of quality physical education in schools. [Read more]

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childhood obesity parentsChildhood Obesity Parents
Studies show that parents are usually their kid’s most pivotal role model. Kids who see parents having healthy foods and being physically active are more likely to do the same. As parents, what steps can you take to help prevent child obesity? [Read more]
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Provide a variety of foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Use salt (sodium) and sugars in moderation. Encourage a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Help your child maintain a healthy weight by providing proper foods. [Read More]
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Parents should develop good habits of their own to help their children maintain a healthy weight. Studies show that when a family eats together, children eat more vegetables and fruits and fewer fried and junk foods. Plan and make healthy, affordable, family meals. [Read More]
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Although everything can be enjoyed in moderation, reducing the calorie-rich temptations of high-fat and high-sugar, or salty snacks can also help your children develop healthy eating habits. One part of balancing calories is to eat foods that provide adequate nutrition. [Read More]
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Encourage children to enjoy physical activity that burns calories to keep balance between energy out and energy in. It is recommended that children and teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. [Read more]
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Start exercising together. The best way you can ensure that your child gets plenty of aerobic play time is to lead the way. Again, this is a family affair. Become involved in your child’s daily exercise. Be enthusiastic and creative about finding ways to stay active. [Read more]
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How much physical activity people do is affected by the environment, which also makes a difference in preventing obesity in children. Communities can be designed to support activities, like regular walking, biking, or playing of sports. [Read More]

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