VIDEO: Jamie Chriqui on Ensuring Healthy Food Access in Schools

Nov 12, 2012, 4:31 PM

Inspired by the 2012 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently talked with a range of national thought leaders to discuss what’s needed—and what works—to achieve better health.

Today, we're featuring video interviews with Jamie Chriqui, PhD, MHS, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Health Research and Policy.

Chriqui spoke with us about the ideal school environment to promote healthy eating, which she said would combine physical activity and healthy lunches with healthy snack options in school vending machines.

She also discussed how partnerships with parents, policymakers and school officials can help set positive eating examples and create healthier food environments. The important thing to realize, she said, is that it’s going to take everyone being involved.

Data shows that kids who eat healthier and are physically active are more likely to do better in school and get into less trouble. Chriqui says ensuring access to healthy foods in school is critical to overall health because if communities can make a difference in the school environment, then that’s a key step toward improving their overall approach to eating.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.