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Shape of the Nation Report 2010 - Children need 60 minutes of daily physical activity but only 5 states require physical education for children in every grade. Just three states require that kids get at least 150 minutes of physical education every week in elementary school. Daily recess is only required in nine states. Keeping tabs on all of this is the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the American Heart Association. The key finding in the report: The majority of states mandate physical education throughout all grade levels, but most do not require a specific amount of instructional time and about half allow exemptions, waivers and/or substitutions. (National Association for Sport and Physical Education, June 2010)...

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)...

School Foods Report Card - This report evaluates the policies for foods and beverages that are sold in schools through vending machines, school stores, fundraisers, and a la carte foods - foods sold in the cafeteria alongside the federally subsidized school lunch program for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nutrition standards for foods and drinks, and the grade levels, hours and locations on campus to which the states' policies apply are examined. The report concludes that 23 states earned failing grades, with 12 states earning Bs and 15 and the District of Columbia earning Cs or Ds. Kentucky is the only state to earn an A. (Center for Science in the Public Interest, June 2006) ...

Child Obesity in Indiana: A Growing Public Policy Concern - Childhood and adolescent obesity rates have reached epidemic proportions in the United States and are growing. Obesity is linked to a number of physical and mental health problems – about 300,000 deaths in all age groups are attributed to obesity itself each year – and the economic cost of obesity was approximately $177 billion in 2000. This brief attributes the rise in obesity to sedentary routines in schools and at home, overexposure to unhealthy snacks and non-nutritional foods and the decline in physical education. The brief also puts the rising obesity rate in a global context, provides examples of state and federal initiatives to combat childhood and adolescent obesity and examines childhood obesity in Indiana and recent actions taken by the state. (Kyle P. Cline, Terry E. Spradlin and Jonathan A. Plucker, Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Winter 2005)...

Childhood Obesity – 2005 Update and Overview of Policy Options - This Web site contains childhood obesity legislation proposed or enacted in 2005, summarized and organized into several categories, including nutrition standards in schools, body mass index, obesity prevention and education, nutrition information on school menu, or labeling and physical education. (Amy P. Winterfeld, National Conference of State Legislatures, July 2005)...

Setting Food and Exercise Standards for Kids MS Word PDF - The political climate for addressing health issues in schools has changed significantly in recent years. This article discusses 2005 gubernatorial leadership and legislative action related to health, nutrition and physical activity in schools. (Kathy Christie, Stateline, Phi Delta Kappan, September 2005. Reprinted with permission.)...

California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness - The task force was launched by the state Legislature in 2002 to address the critical issues of fitness and nutritional health in California's schools and workplaces. As a public/private task force, the Wellness Task Force brings together educators, health advocates, health providers, athletes and legislators. Its mission is to create and promote policies that decrease the obesity rates in California's schools and workplaces. The Wellness Task Force is committed to catalyzing better health outcomes through three unique strategies: (1) support the creation and passage of health legislation that will lead to lower rates of obesity and obesity-related disease; (2) promote models and resources that support healthy nutrition, fitness and healthy food access in California's schools and workplaces; and (3) raise the political and media profiles of child and workplace fitness issues in local communities and statewide. (California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness, 2004)...

Childhood Obesity – An Overview of Policy Options in Legislation for 2003-2004 - This Web site contains childhood obesity legislation proposed or enacted in 2003 and 2004, summarized and organized into several categories, including nutrition standards in schools, obesity prevention and education, and physical education. (Amy P. Winterfeld, National Conference of State Legislatures, 2004)...

Healthy Eating, Active Communities - This private, four-year initiative by the California Endowment is aimed at changing the external factors that contribute to the rapidly increasing rates of obesity and diabetes, including the marketing and advertising of unhealthy foods to children, the availability of junk foods and sodas in schools, and the lack of availability of healthy foods and access to physical activity in low-income neighborhoods. The initiative will promote program change and policy efforts to improve local food and physical activity environments in low-income and rural communities, which typically have less access to nutritious food choices and environments that promote physical activity than higher-income communities. Five local collaboratives of school districts, community-based groups and local public health departments, will be formed to bring about change at both the local and state levels. A two-page background and summary of the initiative also is available. (The California Endowment, October 2004)...

Geographic Disparities in Children’s Mental Health Care - This two-page article summarizes findings of a study on the effects of state of residence on the use of mental health service among children. The authors present significant variations among states between the use of mental health services and the need, with many states with high need not having corresponding high use, and vice versa. Overall there is no apparent relationship between levels of need and use of services across states. The authors contend that these discrepancies are not driven by differences of race/ethnicity or socioeconomic characteristics, but are more likely the result of differences in state policies and health care market characteristics. The full report also is available online. (Roland Sturm, Jeanne S. Ringel and Tatiana Andreyeva, Pediatrics, October 2003)...

School's Out . . . Who Ate? - Children who are hungry have more health problems than other children, including headaches, colds and ear infections. This report examines California’s success in meeting the summer nutritional needs of children who qualify for free or reduced price lunches. While 3.5 million children under age 18 are eligible for summer meals in California, only 24% received nutritional assistance during July 2002. Success in feeding children during summer varies greatly from county to county, with Santa Cruz County doing the best job of feeding eligible children, reaching 43%, while seven counties failed to meet the nutritional needs of any eligible students during the summer. Starting on page 25, a detailed county-by-county breakdown can be found, and a chart illustrating county-by-county trends can be found on page 27. (LeConte Dill and George Manalo-LeClair, California Food Policy Advocates, June 2003)...


What States Are Doing Current

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