Preventing Childhood Obesity

Schools have many powerful tools at their disposal to serve as one of the primary agents to address the obesity crisis. This policy guide is based on the National Association of State Boards of Education’s Fit, Healthy, and Ready to Learn: A School Health Policy Guide, a comprehensive document developed in cooperation with the Division of Adolescent and School Health of the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) divided into several chapters addressing various student health needs and the school’s role in addressing those needs.

The goal of this guide is to offer the latest policy updates and recommendations about how to promote physical education and activity and healthy eating policies in schools. To accomplish this goal, the guide refocuses the research and policy recommendations in these chapters to provide specific models for schools to address the childhood obesity epidemic. It is important to note, however, schools cannot and should not be expected to conquer this crisis alone. Instead, schools have a responsibility to work with parents, state and local government, and communities to take the necessary steps to truly address the epidemic.