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Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?
programs are the emphases of the funding and technical assistance available through CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (Kolbe et al., 2004). Currently 23 states receive funding focused on the coordinated school health program model, which has eight components, including nutrition, physical education, creating a healthy school environment, and health promotion for staff.
Many states and cities are currently enacting legislation that focuses on multiple aspects of enhancing a healthy school environment. For example, in June 2005 South Carolina’s legislature and governor approved legislation that focused on school nutrition, physical activity, and health education particularly in elementary schools (Box 7-2). Arkansas took an early lead in this effort with a focus on assessing BMI levels, implementing changes in school foods, and promoting physical activity (Ryan et al., 2006).
Additionally, a number of organizations, foundations, government agencies, corporations, and others are partnering with schools on efforts that affect multiple aspects of the school environment. Examples of these
South Carolina’s Students’ Health and Fitness Act of 2005
Beginning in the 2006–2007 school year:
Students in kindergarten through fifth grade must be provided 150 minutes a week of physical education and physical activity. A minimum of 60 minutes per week must be for physical education, with plans to increase it to 90 minutes per week.
The fitness status of individual students, as determined during fifth and eighth grades and during high school physical education classes, must be reported to the student’s parent(s) or guardian.
All schools must administer the South Carolina Physical Education Assessment. The assessment of students in the second, fifth, eighth grade, and in high school are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s physical education program and its adherence to the South Carolina Education Curriculum Standards. Effectiveness scores will be developed and reported through the school district and school report cards.
The State Board of Education will establish requirements for elementary school food service meals and competitive foods.
The State Department of Education will make available to each school district a coordinated school health model. An assessment of district and school health education programs will be conducted.
Each school district will establish a coordinated school health advisory council.