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School Health Profiles 2008: Characteristics of Health Programs Among Secondary Schools - The broad focus of the Profiles provides some information on five of the eight components of coordinated school health: Health education; physical education; health services; healthy and safe school environment; and, family and community involvement. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009)...

The Health Literacy of America’s Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy - This report examines the results of an assessment designed specifically to measure the health literacy of adults living in the United States. Health literacy was reported using four performance levels: Below Basic, Basic, Intermediate and Proficient. The majority of adults (53%) had Intermediate health literacy, about 22% had Basic and 14% had Below Basic health literacy. Relationships between health literacy and background variables – such as educational attainment, age, race/ethnicity, where adults get information about health issues and health insurance coverage – are also examined and reported. For example, adults with Below Basic or Basic health literacy were less likely than adults with higher health literacy to get information about health issues from written sources (newspapers, magazines, books, brochures or the Internet) and more likely than adults with higher health literacy to get a lot of information about health issues from radio and television. (Mark Kutner, Elizabeth Greenberg, Ying Jin and Christine Paulsen, National Center for Education Statistics, September 2006) ...

Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation - When the school bell rings to signal the start of summer vacation, millions of children who receive free or reduced price breakfast and lunch at school during the regular school year no longer have access to those meals. Two federal programs – the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program – offer children from low-income families and neighborhoods the kind of nutritious meals and snacks in the summer that they would receive during the school year. Unfortunately, too few children have access to these programs. This report analyzes children’s participation in these key nutrition programs and makes recommendations to improve program access. (Crystal FitzSimons, Randy Rosso, Lynn Parker, Alexis Bylander, Jim Weill, Vanessa Hoffman and Natania Gazek, Food Research and Action center, July 2006) ...

Calories In, Calories Out: Food and Exercise in Public Elementary Schools, 2005 - This report presents current national information for public elementary schools on the availability of foods outside of full school meals, the opportunities for students to engage in physical activity and the physical assessment of students. (Basmat Parsad and Laurie Lewis, National Center for Education Statistics, June 2006) ...

Model Guidelines for Health & Wellnes: Meeting the Requirements of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act - An effective nutrition and wellness policy can help students learn the skills they need to make healthy choices. This paper discusses: (1) legislation passed to improve children's health and wellness, (2) how to help children achieve balance, (3) implementing guidelines for a school wellness policy and (4) nutritional guidelines. Online resources are also provided. (School Nutrition Association, 2006)...

State Differences in Rates of Overweight or Obese Youth - This report examines the rates of overweight and obese children in the United States, ranking each state and providing national-level data disaggregated by race, income and gender. (Kids Count, March 2006)...

Shape of the Nation - This report provides current information on the status of physical education in each of the states and the District of Columbia. The report examines the following areas: (1) time requirements; (2) exemptions/waivers and substitutions; (3) class size; (4) standards, curriculum and instruction (5) Student assessment and program accountability; (6) physical education teacher certification/licensure; (7) national board certification in physical education; (8) state physical education coordinator; and (9) Body Mass Index (BMI) collection. Selected findings include: the majority of states mandate that students must take physical education; 18states grant exemptions/waivers for school districts regarding physical education time or credit requirements; 12 states allow required physical education credits to be earned through online physical education courses; and 22 states require physical education grades to be included in a student's grade point average. (National Association for Sport and Physical Education & American Heart Association, 2006) ...

A Nation at Risk: Obesity in the United States - Today, about 16% of all children and teens in the United States are overweight and obesity is increasing rapidly. This report examines obesity rates of children and teenagers by race, gender and geographical region, discusses the health and financial consequences of obesity and its causes. In 1993, 12 states had obesity prevalence rates between 15% and 19% and no state had rates at or above 20%. By 2003, 15 states had rates between 15% and 19%, 31 states had rates between 20% and 24%, and four states had rates at or above 25%. The consequences of higher obesity rates include higher health care costs and lower life expectancy. The report states that due to the rising obesity epidemic, the current generation of children could become the first generation of Americans to have shorter lives than their parents. (American Heart Association, 2005)...

Closing the Gap on Youth Tobacco Use Through Transdisciplinary Research - This unique report examines the psychological, behavioral and biological characteristics that can lead to tobacco use and addiction in youth and young adults. This report examines research on brain imaging, human behavioral, animal and policy modeling studies that identify the factors that place certain individuals, including adolescents, at greater risk for tobacco use and addiction. (University of California Irvine Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center, June 2004)...

Dispensing Junk: How School Vending Undermines Efforts to Feed Children Well - This nationwide survey of vending machines in middle schools and high schools finds that 75 % of the drinks and 85% of the snacks sold are of poor nutritional value. Given rising child obesity rates and other health problems, the authors contend that all foods sold out of vending machines, school stores and other venues outside of the official school lunch program should make positive contributions to children’s diets and health. (Center for Science in the Public Interest, May 2004)...

F As in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America - This publication is essential reading for a snapshot of where states stand in enacting policies to address education in health, nutrition and physical fitness. Fifty-state tables and data provide statistics on overweight levels among high school and child populations. Report highlights include: (1) an overview of state policies addressing nutrition, physical education and health education in schools; (2) an examination of state policies on food in schools; (3) a review of state physical education requirements; (4) state health education requirements; (5) a table (page 40) which indicates which states have received Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funds to improve school health programs; (6) a list of states that have established commissions on obesity or nutrition; and (7) review of the states that have received CDC funding for nutrition and physical activity programs and school health programs. The report offers conclusions and recommendations to reverse the obesity epidemic among Americans of all ages. An eight-page executive summary also is available. (Trust for America’s Health, October 2004)...

School Lunch Report Card: A Report by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, August 2004 - The current report, the fourth in an annual series, is a review of the food served in 11 large school districts through the National School Lunch Program. Lunches were graded in three categories — obesity and chronic disease prevention, health promotion and nutrition adequacy, and nutrition initiatives — as well as subcategories under each of these areas such as vending machine sales, vegetable side dish or percentage of calories from fat in one week of lunches. No district received an “A”. Scores ranged from a "B" for the Fairfax County (Virginia) to an "F" for Albuquerque. (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, August 2004)...

School Meal Programs: Competitive Foods Are Available in Many Schools; Actions Taken to Restrict Them Differ by State and Locality - This report formally conveys the results provided to Senate staff from a review of a variety of data sources on legislation, policies and studies that address competitive foods in schools. Competitive foods are those outside of school meals, such as a la carte lines in the cafeteria, snack shops, school stores, vending machines and other venues. The researchers found that current federal regulations restrict only a subset of competitive foods - foods of minimal nutritional value - from being sold during mealtimes in food service areas, and competitive foods are sold in a variety of locations on a majority of school campuses nationwide. Several states, school districts, and individual schools have enacted competitive foods policies that are more restrictive than federal regulations but these policies differ widely in the types of restrictions they apply. (U.S. General Accounting Office, April 2004)...

The Learning Connection: The Value of Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity in Our Schools - A majority of youth in the United States are eating unhealthy food and leading inactive lifestyles, negatively impacting both their long-term health and classroom learning. Additionally, schools face rising costs as they are forced to help students whose academic performance or behavior suffers due to these problems. The authors argue that schools further exacerbate this problem by placing unhealthy foods in vending machines that compete with healthier school meal programs. Improved nutritional offerings and physical activity in the nation’s schools would improve students’ academic achievement and health in addition to reducing costs to the schools and the nation. An executive summary also is available. (Action for Healthy Kids, 2004)...

The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity - This study examines the research on the relationship between childhood obesity and media consumption. Among the questions addressed: Do major studies find a relationship between childhood obesity and the time children spend using media? Do experiments reducing children’s media time result in weight loss? Does the time children spend using media displace time spent in more physical activities? The authors also report research on the effects of food advertising on children, food content and body type in television shows and movies, and of entertainment media depictions on obesity-promoting behaviors. Policy options are proposed, including reducing or regulating food ads targeted to children, expanding public education campaigns to promote healthy eating and more exercise, and more. (Kaiser Family Foundation, February 2004)...

Trends in Sexual Risk Behaviors among High School Students—United States, 1991 to 1997 and 1999 to 2003 - This four-page paper analyzes trends in teen sexual behavior in the United States using Centers for Disease Control biennial surveys. Respondents were asked if they ever had sexual intercourse, had four or more sexual partners during their lifetime, if they were currently sexually active and if they used a condom during their last sexual encounter. The paper concludes that sexual behaviors improved between 1991 and 1997, but that little change has occurred since implementation of federally funded Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in 1998. This paper does not prove a causal relationship exists between implementation of the programs and the end of significant improvement in adolescent sexual risk-taking behaviors, and calls for further research on the issue. (Ammie N. Feijoo, Advocates for Youth, September 2004)...

14 and Under: The Sexual Behavior of Young Adolescents - Approximately one in five adolescents has had sexual intercourse before his or her 15th birthday, according to this report. The report also found that only about one-third of parents of sexually experienced 14-year-olds know that their child has had sex. A summary of the report is available online and the full report can be purchased at www.teenpregnancy.org. (The National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2003)...

Childhood Obesity: Final Report of the Virginia Commission on Youth - This report addresses the problem of obesity among children and adolescents in Virginia. It discusses research both at the state and national levels regarding the prevalence, causes and consequences of childhood obesity. It provides information about the role of parents and schools in improving the eating habits and physical activity of children in Virginia and suggests ways these parties can take action to improve the health and nutrition of Virginia’s youth. Suggested methods of addressing childhood obesity in Virginia include integrating instruction on health and nutrition in the classroom, establishing a nutritional code of conduct within and around schools and providing more opportunities, in school, for physical activity. (Virginia Commission on Youth, 2003)...

CSPI School Foods Toolkit: A Guide to Improving School Foods and Beverages - Chocolate milk and so-called "fruit" drinks are some of the worst snacks for schools to make available to kids, according to this kit. The toolkit includes strategies for improving school food and suggests model policies for improving overall student health by increasing the quality of meals provided by schools. Policy tools include model legislation, sample testimony and talking points. (Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 2003)...

Even Students Are What They Eat PDF - This article is an overview of the issues and challenges many states face with setting school nutrition policy, as well as examples of how states are addressing the problem. Thirty-six states either have their own legislative requirements related to the School Breakfast Program or provide state funds for school breakfasts. In addition, some states are setting nutrition standards for all foods or beverages made available on school premises during the school day. (Kathy Christie, "Stateline," Phi Delta Kappan, January 2003. Reprinted with permission.)...

Preventing Obesity in Youth through School-Based Efforts - This issue brief addresses several steps states can take to combat obesity and promote healthy lifestyles in children, and gives examples of how specific states are currently implementing such steps. (Karen VanLandeghem, NGA Center for Best Practices, February 2003) ...

School Commercialism, Student Health, and the Pressure To Do More With Less - This report notes the current landscape of the commercialism-in-schools debate, particularly as such commercialism pertains to the selling and marketing of food and drinks of limited nutritional value. The author references exclusive contracts with soft drink vendors, the health risks associated with soft drink consumption, the potential targeting of children as a marketing demographic, and recent legislation and litigation. The appendix includes a listing of federal and state legislation (enacted, pending and failed) on school food policies from 1999-2003. (Alex Molnar, Arizona State University, July 2003)...

School Lunch Program: Efforts Needed To Improve Nutrition and Encourage Healthy Eating - This U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) study of the National School Lunch Program finds that while school food programs over the 1990s were providing the mandated amount of nutrients and lowering fat levels, more than 75% of schools still exceeded the average fat and sodium content permitted for school lunches. It also notes that although schools cited budgets and instructional time as obstacles, local and state efforts are nonetheless making strides to provide healthier meals and help students make better nutrition decisions. (GAO, May 2003)...

Attention Disorder Drugs: Few Incidents of Diversion or Abuse Identified by Schools - At Congressional request, the General Accounting Office has provided information and analysis on (1) the diversion and abuse of attention deficit disorder drugs in public schools, (2) the school environment in which the drugs are administered to students and (3) the state laws or regulations addressing the administration of prescription drugs in schools. Concern has arisen that the increasing use of medications in school might provide additional opportunities for drug abuse, however, middle and high school principals reported little diversion or abuse of attention disorder drugs. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have either statutes, regulations or mandatory policies addressing the administration of medication to students. (General Accounting Office 01-1011, September 14, 2001)...

Overview – School Health Policies and Programs Study 2000 - This national survey is periodically conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assess school health policies and programs. The latest SHPPS measures policies and programs at several education levels on components of health programs, partners and collaboration and trends and changes over time. (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, September 2001)...

Study Disputes View of U.S. Youths as Inactive - Despite a widespread perception that today's children don't get enough exercise, a new study concludes that most American young people exceed the federal recommendations for daily physical activity. This Education Week article reviews the report and offers highlights. (Darcia Harris Bowman, Education Week, September 26, 2001)...

Treatment of the School-Aged Child With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder - This guideline emphasizes the importance of teacher involvement when managing treatment for children diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Recommendations include specifying appropriate target outcomes with school personnel and observation of progress by child, parents and teachers. (American Academy of Pediatrics, October 2001)...


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