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ERIC Number: EJ913286
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Weighing Wellness Initiatives: Having a Policy Isn't Enough
Armstrong, Alice
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v76 n4 p37-41 Dec 2010
The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identify 34% of American adults as obese and another 33% as overweight. Since children tend to mimic adult behavior, adults not only hurt themselves when they practice poor eating and exercise habits, they also hurt their children. With only one-third of adults modeling weight-healthy lifestyles, it's no surprise that childhood obesity rates keep climbing despite efforts to stem this blubbery tide. In response to this trend, Congress mandated that each school with a federally subsidized lunch program should have a wellness policy in place by the start of the 2006-07 school year. Researchers with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Bridging the Gap program at the University of Illinois at Chicago surveyed school districts throughout the nation to gauge the effectiveness of the wellness policy legislation. In 2009, lead researcher Jamie Chriqui reported that most districts had indeed met the minimum requirements of the law by adopting wellness policies. However, the intent of the law--that these policies be implemented--frequently is ignored. Research shows a high correlation between obesity rates and poor academic performance. Kids with weight problems miss more school than their more slender peers. Studies also show that children who get exercise regularly during the school day have fewer discipline problems. The benefits of a successful wellness program that incorporates healthy eating habits and physical activity extend into the classroom and beyond. So how are schools without funding and human power to cope? The answer is to keep it simple. The author stresses that wellness initiatives do not have to be complicated or expensive; they just need dedicated leaders.
Prakken Publications. 832 Phoenix Drive, P.O. Box 8623, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Tel: 734-975-2800; Fax: 734-975-2787; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia; Illinois; North Carolina; Utah