259579 Comprehensive School-Based Wellness Programs

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jennifer Lee, MPH , HEAT Program, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Background: Childhood obesity continues to be a vexing public health issue that must be addressed in the United States. Childhood obesity is multi-factorial and may lead to various adverse health outcomes. Several interventions have been implemented in school-based settings in order to reduce the risks of adulthood obesity and ensure lifelong healthy behaviors. Thesis:School wellness policies established on both the local and federal level may not be feasible, or practical, enough for schools to implement to the degree to which the policy was intended. This review will discuss how comprehensive school-based obesity interventions, specifically those establishing a healthier school environment, may assist schools to comply with multi-level regulations, alleviate childhood obesity, and foster lifelong healthy habits. Methodology: A database search conducted in Academic Search Complete, MEDLINE, and Scopus with a focus on existing literature with search terms “comprehensive” “school” “wellness” “programs,” from 2005 onward in the U.S was completed. A total of 7 intervention studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. Findings: Analysis of these 7 papers revealed that comprehensive school-based wellness programs may be the most effective technique in bridging the gap between policy and intervention. Implications: Future findings from ongoing research may warrant comprehensive school wellness programs as a best practice method to decreasing rates of childhood obesity and adhering to wellness policies. The “Healthy Schools Initiative” in Brooklyn may further substantiate the effectiveness, sustainability and durability of comprehensive school-based interventions, especially in disadvantaged communities.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate drafting and developing an implementation plan of a “model” school wellness policy that is realistic and specifically tailored to the health needs of diverse communities. 2. Identify empirically supported best practices regarding nutrition education and physical activity that promote comprehensive school wellness in diverse communities.

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an MPH Policy and Administration candidate for May 2012 and focused my research on my internship experience at the NYCDOH affiliated with the Brooklyn District Public Health Office for the Healthy Schools Initiative. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies to bridge the gap between policy, research, and intervention.
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.