Rates of childhood obesity have been increasing as schools have become less healthy places for children. Many schools sell junk food and soft drinks in cafeterias and vending machines, while few offer physical education. Because children spend so much time in school, changing school policies and environments to improve nutrition and increase physical activity could be an efficient and effective way to improve the health of the next generation. The American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation have formed the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which aims to reverse the increase in childhood obesity within ten years. The Alliance has four pillars: industry; health care; a kids' campaign; and--the focus of this project--the Healthy Schools Program. The purpose of this project is to mobilize schools and stakeholders to improve the food served and sold in schools and increase opportunities for physical activity during and after school. It will build on existing school health efforts and focus on unmet needs that impede schools from making healthy changes. Deliverables include: physical activity and nutrition standards for schools; a technical assistance program to help schools meet and sustain the standards; a model that will make it economically neutral if not beneficial for schools to provide healthier foods and more physical activity; a staff wellness program; and a recognition program for schools that make healthy changes. The project supports the Foundation's goal of improving access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity in schools, especially those in low-income communities. The project will be considered successful if it results in more schools taking steps to improve nutrition and increase physical activity. We also expect the Program to contribute to our understanding of how to drive widespread policy and environmental change in schools and to help us determine which changes have the greatest impact on improving nutrition and increasing physical activity among children.
Amount Awarded $8,000,000.00
Awarded on: 1/26/2006
Time frame: 2/1/2006 - 3/31/2010
Grant Number: 55563