Out-of-School time (OST) programs are a promising setting for reducing child obesity risk by promoting healthy eating and providing opportunities for physical activity. The Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition developed the National AfterSchool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards in 2011 to provide comprehensive guidance on how to promote healthy eating and physical activity. To date most efforts to adopt these standards have been voluntary, but state or local laws present one option to increase awareness, uptake, and implementation of the standards. This report focuses on the potential benefits and unintended consequences of state policies specifically focused on OST programs. The report summarizes key informant interviews and case studies of California and North Carolina, two states with experience translating healthy OST guidelines into state policy. Policy recommendations and questions for future research are also presented. The report concludes that state policy approaches have the potential to result in faster, more equitable, and more thorough improvements to healthy eating and physical activity in OST settings, though experts noted that initial forays into state policy approaches should be voluntary and policy approaches should evolve as knowledge becomes available through experience.
Using State Laws & Regulations to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Afterschool Programs
Examining State Policy Approaches to Promoting Implementation of Out-of-School Time Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards
The purpose of this project is to examine the use of state policy approaches to promote the implementation of the National AfterSchool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (NAA HEPA) standards. The research team will build a conceptual framework, elicit expert opinion on state policy approaches, analyze real-world experiences using … 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