Online Program

Building a lifetime of healthy habits: A model for nutrition education and physical activity in schools

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:42 p.m.

Carolyn Buenaflor, MPH, CHES, Healthy Habits, Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA
In the communities served by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC), over one-fourth of the children are obese and only one-third of children are physically active. In response to this identified priority health need, CSMC launched Healthy Habits, an innovative community-based nutrition education and physical activity program. It partners with schools to provide children and their families with the knowledge and skills needed to adopt healthy lifestyles. It consists of multiple programs that layer on each other to engage students, parents, teachers and school administrators. Lessons are fun and interactive and key messages are reinforced across programs. An evaluation of Healthy Habits was conducted in 2011 by an independent consultant and demonstrated the positive impact Healthy Habits has on participants. Among the results, parents reported an increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables and doing more physical activity together as a family. Teachers observed students bringing healthier snacks and reported making changes in the classroom such as incorporating stretch breaks during the day. Teachers also reported making healthier choices for themselves, such as decreasing soda consumption. The program evaluation identified a number of successful program strategies of Healthy Habits. These include change in children requires involving parents and teachers, reinforcing knowledge learned with skill-building activities, planning programs to include overlapping content and providing students an opportunity to share what they learned with their parents. Healthy Habits works and it serves as a best practice model of providing nutrition education and physical activity programs in partnerships with schools.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe components and activities of an effective healthy eating and physical activity program. Describe how community-based organizations can create and maintain strong partnerships with teachers and schools. Identify successful strategies in implementing a healthy eating and physical activity programs in partnership with schools.

Keyword(s): Nutrition, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in health education and community outreach for over ten years and serves as the Program Administrator for the Healthy Habits program for over two years. As the Program Administrator, I oversee all aspects of the program including curriculum development, program implementation and evaluation and staff management.
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.