breakout groups or the workshop participants as a whole, but they provide a valuable review of the workshop deliberations and point to the potential of future action.
THE NEED FOR STANDARDS
In response to question 1, the moderators for the breakout groups noted that the participants suggested standards would affect nutrition behaviors across the lifespan, thus improving health in a number of areas. In essence, the same justification exists for nutrition education standards as for school health policies.
Some breakout group participants also thought standards would make nutrition issues more visible and accessible to a variety of audiences inside and outside of schools. They could provide consistency, be based on science, and be accurate and comprehensive. However, it was noted the states cannot be forced to adopt standards.
Some group members argued for standards organized by grade bands to increase flexibility. Others wanted standards to be grade specific, since having standards for each grade makes evaluation easier and provides for accountability. Some also urged that standards be developed for prekinder-gartners as well as K-12 students.
The overall goal would be to help children become adults who would choose foods for a healthy diet. One way to help achieve this goal would be to update the national health education standards and highlight nutrition within those standards. Many other resources are available that could spur and support action, but they need to be coordinated and used effectively.
DEVELOPING IMPLEMENTABLE AND EFFECTIVE STANDARDS
With regard to question 2, many of the breakout group participants suggested that nutrition education be linked to the Common Core standards currently available or being developed. However, some participants thought while nutrition education could be integrated with other subjects, the subject may also need to be treated on its own periodically to ensure that nutrition information does not get blurred and lost. Other participants suggested a major opportunity for integration with other subjects is to think about nutrition in the much larger context of food systems and policy.
Many participants opined that standards should be flexible enough so that teachers and schools can decide how to meet the standards. Such flexibility also allows for the regional and socioeconomic differences among schools. The standards could be comprehensive but broad enough to be accessible to many stakeholders and implementers. They also noted that teachers would need the resources to implement standards.