172659 Physical Activity and Nutrition Policies and Programs in U.S. States, School Districts and Schools: How Are We Doing?

Monday, October 27, 2008: 12:45 PM

Sarah M. Lee, PhD , Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Terry O'Toole, PhD , Division of Adolescent and School Health, CDC, Atlanta, GA
The 2006 School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) assessed policies and programs at state, district, school, and classroom levels. Physical activity and nutrition surveys were completed by state agency staff in all 50 states and among a nationally representative sample of school districts (n = 453). Interviews were conducted with nationally representative samples of school staff (n = 988) and physical education teachers (n = 1194).

Most states (78%) required schools to teach some physical education. Few schools (3.8% of elementary, 7.9% of middle, 2.1% of high) provided daily physical education. While 57% of districts required elementary schools to provide recess, 68% of schools provided recess for all students in all grades. While only 45% of schools offered physical activity clubs, 83% offered interscholastic sports.

Few states (14%) required schools to restrict availability of deep-fried foods, only 4% required schools to make fruits and vegetables available whenever foods were offered, and only 18% of states required schools to make healthful beverages available when beverages were offered. While many schools sold healthful foods and beverages outside the school nutrition services program, many also sold items high in fat, sodium, and added sugars.

Physical activity and nutrition policies and programs continue to need improvement. A comprehensive approach at the state, district, school, and classroom levels is necessary to achieve health promoting environments in schools. Supportive envrionments for physical activity and nutrition improve opportunities for students to learn how to be physically active for life and establish lifelong healthy eating habits.

Learning Objectives:
Participation in this session will enable participants to: 1. Describe the characteristics of school physical education and physical activity policies and programs in the US at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. 2. Describe the characteristics of school nutrition services and the foods and beverages sold outside of school meals in the US including state- and district-level policies and school practices. 3. Explain and discuss ways that the results of the 2006 SHPPS can be used to influence policy and programmatic changes in schools’ nutrition and physical activity environments. 4. Identify actions or strategies for school physical activity and nutrition policy and program changes in their local setting.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently serve as the lead health scientist for physical activity in the Division of Adolescent & School Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I have over 8 years of experience in the field of physical activity, public health, and school health. I have an interdisciplinary PhD in Exercise and Wellness Education and Curriculum & Insruction.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.