184429 Creating Healthy School Environments to Reduce Childhood Obesity: The Fit for Learning Initiative

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sallie C. Yoshida, DrPH, RD , Public Health Nutrition Consultant, Albany, CA
Lisa Craypo, MPH, RD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Sarah Samuels, DrPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Steve Berta , Health Education/Safe Schools, Santa Clara County Office of Education, San Jose, CA

The goal of Fit for Learning is to create school environments that promote healthy food and physical activity. In partnership with the Health Trust and Healthy Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara County Office of Education developed Fit for Learning to address the childhood obesity epidemic in Santa Clara County. Key program components include a comprehensive resource binder which enables teachers to easily integrate nutrition and physical education into classroom learning with activities that meet the academic standards. A School Champions component trains teachers and parents to provide leadership and technical assistance to ensure successful implementation. Fit for Learning also works with districts to develop wellness policies, and engages students, after school programming and parents in creating healthier campuses.


Data was collected 2005 and 2007 using a Stakeholder Survey and Survey of School Champions. In-depth telephone interviews using the Stakeholder Survey were conducted with key school community members to assess their impression of and experience with Fit for Learning. Content analysis identified themes across respondents. Survey of School Champions was self-administered on-line which captured perspectives of 69 school champions who were most active in implementing Fit for Learning at the school level.


Results from the two-year evaluation found that Fit for Learning: 1) was a valuable tool, easy to implement, and successful at engaging students, 2) had positively influenced the foods used for in-class celebrations, and 3) increased physical activity opportunities by increasing teacher awareness and providing easy ideas for various activities.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Describe three key components of the Fit for Learning Program. 2) List three Fit for Learning activities that can be easily integrated in classroom teaching. 3) Articulate the importance of creating school environments that support healthy eating and opportunities for children to be active during school.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a doctorate in public health and am a registered dietitian. I helped to design the survey instrument, conducted interviews, analyzed the results and completed a written report of the findings.
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.