Healthy School Environments

This series highlights the latest research showing why a healthier school day is vital to building a Culture of Health, including healthier school meals and snacks and increased physical activity.

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Students laughing and enjoying a healthy school lunch.

Apart from their homes, most children spend more time at school than any other place. A growing body of research shows that healthier school meals and snacks can help improve kids’ diets and may help reduce obesity, while increased physical activity for students improves health as well as academic achievement. This series highlights the latest research showing why a healthier school day is vital to building a Culture of Health.

Recent Content


Leaps and Bounds: The Many Rewards of Physical Activity

September 23, 2015 | Infographic

When we expand the availability of physical activity in schools and communities across the nation, we are not just helping to reverse America's childhood obesity epidemic—we’re also providing children a strong foundation for learning and health.


Improvements in School Lunches Result in Healthier Options

April 14, 2015 | Issue Brief

Researchers examine the changes elementary schools have made to student lunches over the last eight school years.


Less Waste, Healthier Consumption With New School Lunches

March 4, 2015 | News Release

Research shows after federal healthier school meal standards went into effect, students ate more fruit and threw away less of their entrees and vegetables.


Poll Reveals Parental Demand for Healthier School Foods

September 8, 2014 | Survey/Poll

The vast majority of parents support strong national nutrition standards for all school foods and beverages. See the findings of the nationwide poll from Pew Charitable Trusts, American Heart Association, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Student Reactions to Healthier Lunches

July 21, 2014 | Issue Brief

After one school year with healthier meals—with standards set by the USDA—students are eating more whole grains, dairy, fruit, and vegetables. Researchers surveyed schools, parents, and examined what students threw away. See what they learned.