Schools have an unparalleled opportunity to promote children’s health by creating an environment in which children eat healthy foods, engage in regular physical activity, and learn life-long skills for healthy eating and active living. In this article, authors discuss the role of schools in obesity prevention efforts, current issues in schools’ food and physical activity environments, as well as federal, state, and local policies related to food and physical activity standards in schools. The article is organized around four key areas: 1) school food environments and policies; 2) school physical activity environments and policies; 3) school body mass index measurements; and 4) school wellness policies. Promising school policies and practices and recommendations for future research are also discussed.
Schools and Obesity Prevention: Creating School Environments and Policies to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
The USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides critical nutrition assistance to lower-income women, infants, and young children. During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has risen to levels greater than experienced during the Great Recession, and food insecurity has also increased, making WIC’s role more important … More
Stories of Success: A Qualitative Examination of Contributors to Excellence in School Drinking Water Access
Drinking water instead of beverages with added sugar can help prevent obesity and cavities and promote overall health. Children spend much of their day in school, where they have variable access to drinking water. In 2010, federal and state law required California public schools to provide free potable water to … More
Policymakers worldwide are considering requiring warnings for sugary drinks. A growing number of experimental studies have examined sugary drink warnings’ impacts, but no research to our knowledge has synthesized this literature. To inform ongoing policy debates, this study aimed to identify the effects of sugary drink warnings compared with control … More