K-12 School Wellness

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School Wellness

The childhood obesity epidemic is one of the greatest public health, social, and economic challenges of the 21st century.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) have come together to support the coordination of health and education to address childhood obesity.  These organizations recognize each sector cannot reverse the epidemic on their own, but coordinated efforts implemented through school-based initiatives are most likely to be effective.  Promoting nutrition and physical activity is consistent with the fundamental mission of schools, which is to educate youth to become healthy, productive citizens who make meaningful contributions to society.

According to NASBE’s “The Role of Schools in Preventing Childhood Obesity” report, schools play an especially important role because:

  • Over 95 percent of young people are enrolled in schools.
  • Promotion of physical activity and healthy eating have long been a fundamental component of the American educational experience, so schools are not being asked to assume new responsibilities.
  • Research has shown that well-designed, well-implemented school programs can effectively promote physical activity, healthy eating, and reductions in television viewing time.
  • Emerging research documents the connections between physical activity, good nutrition, physical education and nutrition programs, and academic performance.

Explore the drop-down menu below to learn more about recommended strategies for schools.

Designate a Health Champion

Assess School’s Health and Wellness Policies

Increase Opportunities for Physical Activity

Implement Quality School Meals Program

Participate in Professional Development