NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED546838
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
Strategies for Creating Supportive School Nutrition Environments
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Good nutrition is vital to optimal health. The school environment plays a fundamental role in shaping lifelong healthy behaviors and can have a powerful influence on students' eating habits. A supportive school nutrition environment includes multiple elements: access to healthy and appealing foods and beverages available to students in school meals, vending machines, school stores, à la carte lines in the cafeteria, fundraisers, and classroom parties; consistent messages about food and healthy eating; and the opportunities students have to learn about healthy eating. Improving the school nutrition environment has the potential to improve students' physical health and academic achievement. The "Child Nutrition" and "WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004", and more recently the "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010", required that school districts have a wellness policy that includes nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages available during the school day, as well as goals for nutrition promotion and nutrition education. School districts nationwide have taken a variety of steps to create supportive nutrition environments through policy change. This brief highlights areas where policy opportunities exist, as well as areas where policies are well-established relative to the following topics: 1) nutrition standards for competitive foods and beverages (i.e., items sold or served outside the school meal programs); 2) marketing and promotion of foods and beverages at school; 3) access to free drinking water; 4) nutrition education for students; 5) Farm to School programs and school gardens; 6) nutrition-related training for school personnel; and 7) strategies to increase participation in school meals. This brief also summarizes the range of policy actions taken by public school districts from a nationally representative sample of district wellness policies from the 2011-2012 school year, from the Bridging the Gap (BTG) study. All policies were collected and coded by BTG researchers using a standardized method based on evidence-based guidelines and recommendations from expert organizations and agencies. Complete details about how these data were collected and compiled are available in the companion methods documentation (see ED546842).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333. Tel: 800-311-3435; Tel: 404-639-3311; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DHHS/PHS)