178203 Healthy eating and physical activity environments, policies and programs among Michigan schools: The healthy schools study

Monday, October 27, 2008

Richard Miles, BS , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Katherine Alaimo, PhD , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Nick Drzal, MPH, RD , Michigan Department of Education, Lansing, MI
Shannon Carney, MS, RD , Michigan Department of Community Health, Lansing, MI
Diane Golzynski, PhD, RD , Cardiovascular Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity Section, Michigan Department of Community Health, Lansing, MI
Jennifer Mosack, BS , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Schools have been identified as key public health intervention sites to improve nutrition and physical activity among children. The state of Michigan recommends the assembly of a multi-disciplinary Coordinated School Health Team (CSHT) including school administrators, faculty, staff, students and community members to address school health issues. CSHT's can promote a healthy lifestyle through the creation and implementation of policies, programs and environmental elements. The Healthy School Action Tools (HSAT), created by the Michigan Department of Community Health, the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Team Nutrition, and United Dairy Industry of Michigan, the American Cancer Society and Michigan Public Health Institute, includes an online self-assessment tool designed to guide CSHT's through a self-improvement process. The Healthy Schools Study was designed to determine the characteristics of the schools that have completed HSAT and a description of school nutrition and physical activity programs, policies and environments in Michigan. The HSAT was completed by 332 self-selected schools between 2004 and 2007. Among these schools, 92% were public schools and the majority were elementary schools (41%). Ninety-four percent of the schools had a CSHT. Nevertheless, only 36% and 47% of schools had adopted the Michigan State Board of Education (MSBE) recommended policies for healthy food/beverages and physical education, respectively. Schools that have a CSHT and a focus on healthy eating were significantly more likely to have adopted the MSBE policy on healthy food/beverages. The Coordinated School Health approach has potential for improving school health.

Learning Objectives:
1. Become familiar with the Healthy School Action Tools (HSAT) (www.mihealthtools.org/schools), a set of online tools to help Michigan schools create healthier environments. 2. Describe characteristics of schools who have adopted school policies and created school environments and programs that promote physical activity and healthy eating.

Keywords: School Health, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The data and methods presented in this abstract were completed as part of my Masters Degree in Human Nutrition at Michigan State University.
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.