This paper examines the associations between the food and physical activity environment in schools and body mass index (BMI) for lower-income boys and girls when they were in the 8th grade during 2007. Analyzing secondary data from the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K), researchers found that a number of student physical activity and food choices were associated with BMI. Participating in school sports was associated with BMI scores for lower-income boys that were 0.55 points lower than for boys who did not participate in school sports. For lower-income girls, eating school breakfast was associated with a 0.70 higher BMI score and eating school lunch was associated with a 0.65 higher BMI score. The findings suggest that schools may influence adolescent BMI and there is room for improvement in school food and physical activity environments to promote healthier weights among lower-income boys and girls.
Children’s School-Related Food and Physical Activity Behaviors are Associated with Body Mass Index
This study will examine the potential effects of regulating the sale of competitive foods and beverages in schools, a lever which policy-makers may use to positively influence children’s consumption behaviors to reduce the prevalence of obesity among children. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provides the U.S. Department of … More
Strong nutrition standards for school meals, consistent with evidence-based recommendations, position children for optimal health and wellbeing. Strong science supports the link between lowering sodium intake and better health. This new issue brief from Healthy Eating Research examines the recent history of sodium standards for school meals. It highlights current sodium intake … More
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More