4031.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM

Policy and Interventions to Build a Healthy School Environment

National data indicate that 11% of U.S. children and adolescents were overweight in 1988-1991; an increase from about 7% in 1976-80. The recent increase in overweight may be partly due to a high fat diet and decreased physical activity levels. Children and adolescents are an important demographic group to target for prevention efforts because eating and exercise behaviors in childhood track into adulthood and thereby impact long-term health. Schools are an ideal environment to implement prevention efforts because most children and adolescents spend a large portion of their day in school. Educational approaches have not been very effective in producing long-term eating and exercise behavior changes. Environmental strategies that reduce exposure to high fat foods (e.g., reduce availability) or that increase the attractiveness of lower fat foods (e.g., marketing, lower prices) may hold promise as an effective way to promote changes in eating behaviors. Similarly, environmental strategies that increase opportunities and incentives to be physically active may be effective in increasing physical activity levels among children and adolescents. The present symposium presents CDC recommendations and national surveillance data for school policies and environmental actions to promote healthy eating and physical activity in schools. Data from three school-based interventions that focused on environmental changes to promote healthier food choices are presented. Policy and research directions will be discussed
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement.
Learning Objectives: Refer to the individual abstracts for learning objectives
Organizer(s):Mary Story, PhD, RD
Simone French, PhD
8:30 AMOpening Remarks - Mary Story (Chair)
8:35 AMPromoting healthy eating and physical activity through the school environment: A national perspective
Howell Wechsler, EdD, MPH
8:50 AMNutrition and Children: Who's Paying Attention?
Margo N. Woods, DSc, Christina McCormack, Laurie R. Stillman, MMHS
9:05 AMWorking toward a healthy school nutrition environment: Experiences from the TEENS study
Leslie A. Lytle, PhD
9:20 AMA school environment intervention to reduce adolescents' fat intake
Marianne Brown, MPH, Michelle M Zive, RD, Robin L Pelletier, John P Elder, MPH, PhD, James F Sallis, PhD
9:35 AMTACOS: Trying Alternative Cafeteria Options in High Schools
Simone A. French, PhD, Mary Story, PhD
9:50 AMPanel Discussion - Mary Story (Discussant)
Sponsor:Food and Nutrition
Cosponsors:Community Health Planning and Policy Development; Environment; Maternal and Child Health; School Health Education and Services; Social Work

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA