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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Northeast school gets fit

Johnnie A. Lee, MD, MPH, FACP and Lorraine Olson, RN. Department of Health and Social Services, City of Stamford Connecticut, 888 Washington Blvd., Stamford, CT 06904, 203 977 4373, Obrown@ci.stamford.ct.us

This paper discusses how a public school nurse spearheaded a school wide nutrition and fitness initiative involving, over a four month period, approximately 880 students, kindergarten through 5th grade; 75 school administrative, educational and support staff members; its parent organization; and Sodexho, the school district food service contractor, in program design and implementation.

The project began in September 2003, after the physical education teacher mentioned to the school nurse that significant numbers of children were failing the state mandated 4th grade Physical Fitness Training. The nurse, who was already concerned about the increasing number of students unable to comfortably participate in physical education classes due to overweight and/or exercise induced asthma, called for action.

During the ensuing three months, through the previously referenced collaborative effort, a daily dynamic, fun, educational program about healthy food choices and exercise, involving music, art, physical education and academic curriculums evolved.

Program evaluation after the first month revealed: 1. Fewer children seeking to be excused and/or trying to cut gym. 2. In anticipation of a planned annual school event, significant numbers of children questioned the nurse about the type of food that would be served. 3. Many children are reporting on their parents and encouraging them to serve healthy meals at home. 4. An exercise class for school staff meeting twice weekly. 5. School wide consensus to continue the program indefinitely.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session you will be able to

Keywords: Health Education Strategies, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Obesity As An Epidemic Challenge

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA