In the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, Congress required school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program or other child nutrition programs, such as the School Breakfast Program, to adopt and implement wellness policies by the first day of the 2006–07 school year. The act required wellness policies to include:
- goals for nutrition education;
- an assurance that school meal nutrition guidelines met the minimum federal school meal standards;
- guidelines for foods and beverages sold or served outside of school meal programs;
- goals for physical activity and other school-based activities; and
- implementation plans.
The bar graph shows that only 83 percent of elementary-school students, 80 percent of middle-school students and 79 percent of high-school students were in districts that were able to achieve this goal. But one year later, the situation had greatly improved. By the beginning of the 2007–08 school year, more than 94 percent of students were in districts with wellness policies.