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Rate Decline: Greater St. Cloud, Minnesota

Greater St. Cloud reported a 24% decline in the obesity rates among children age 12 from 2008 to 2015.

In the greater St. Cloud region of Minnesota, health care providers are looking beyond the clinic walls for ways to amplify their impact.

CentraCare Health is a nonprofit health care system that, along with a coalition of government and community partners, set out to help children in the region achieve a healthy weight by making healthy choices easier to make. CentraCare leads a collaborative initiative called Better Living: Exercise and Nutrition Daily (BLEND), which launched in 2006 to make healthy food and physical activity a regular part of children’s daily lives. The effort was been supported by Stearns County Public Health through a grant from Minnesota’s Statewide Health Improvement Program.

Kids play outside during PE classes at Pleasantview Elementary in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Students take off running during the BLEND Earth Day Health & Fitness Expo.

The data—not just on kids’ weight, but also on their environments and their everyday behavior—suggest that this community initiative is helping to create a Culture of Health in central Minnesota. Some examples include:

  • Safe Routes to School: New infrastructure, like sidewalks, bike lanes, safe-speed signage and crossing guard stations, were put into place to connect kids’ homes with their schools. As a result, more kids began walking or biking to school than ever before. At one middle school, the number of students walking and biking to school increased by 40% in one year, while an elementary school recorded a 23% rise in the same period.
  • Nutrition Labeling in Stores and Schools: A nutritional scoring system called “NuVal”—which scores food from 1 to 100, where a higher number means the food is more nutritious—was implemented in both grocery stores (the Coborn’s Grocery chain, Lunds & Byerly’s and some locations of Cash Wise) and in one area school district. Sales receipts suggested that consumers may have used the scores to “trade up” for more nutritious options; for example, sales of yogurts with low NuVal scores dropped by 19% in the first year of NuVal’s implementation in the Greater St. Cloud Region, while yogurt sales with high NuVal scores increased by 4%.
  • Complete Streets: In 2011, St. Cloud implemented a resolution requiring that all streets built or rebuilt in St. Cloud must consider pedestrian-friendly features like sidewalks and bike lines, to improve safety and convenience for users of all ages and abilities.

Children participate in a physical activity during the BLEND Earth Day Health & Fitness Expo.

At Talahi Community Schools, the Safe Streets Program encourages students to walk or bike to school.

BLEND has initiated other projects to improve community health, including working with local school districts to update wellness policies and working to secure $6 million for new Safe Routes to School projects across Minnesota.

Students stay hydrated at BLEND Earth Day Health & Fitness Expo, a program to promote health and wellness in Minnesota.

Coborn’s Grocery Store in St. Cloud, Minnesota is finding ways to make healthy choices easier for its customers.

A father and son cheer at BLEND Earth Day Health and Fitness Expo.

A mother and daughter make healthy choices at Corbon’s Grocery Store, in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Corbon’s uses the NuVal program, a scoring system to help customers see the nutritional value of the food before they buy.

Source

Child Obesity Rate Changes in Areas Served by CentraCare Health and BLEND Initiative 2015

Originally posted on June 23, 2016.


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Rate Decline: New York, New York

New York City reported a 5.5% decline in obesity among students in grades K-8 from 2006-07 to 2010-11.

Thanks to a comprehensive, city-wide effort, youth in New York City’s five boroughs now have better access to healthier foods and improved opportunities for physical activity.

Students enjoy a fruit smoothie with their teacher at a child-care center in Jamaica, Queens—one that participates in New York City’s Eat Well Play Hard program.

A family shops for fresh fruits and vegetables at a Green Cart in New York City.

Significant changes were made to child-care centers. Today, the city:

  • Requires group child-care centers to offer healthier foods and improve nutrition education, increase physical activity and limit screen time;
  • Provides child-care center staff across the city with current information regarding best practices in nutrition and physical activity; and;
  • Brings inexpensive, local healthy food options to child-care centers through a Farm-to-Preschool pilot.
Regular physical activity is a key part of the curriculum in child-care centers that participate in New York City’s Eat Well Play Hard program.

New York City has created a healthier school environment by:

  • Helping teachers incorporate physical activity throughout the school day with “Move-to-Improve” guidelines; and
  • Conducting an annual fitness assessment for students in grades K-12. Students can share their assessments with family and health care providers to help shape healthy eating and physical activity habits

There have been efforts to get healthier, affordable foods into every neighborhood by:

  • Launching 1,000 Green Carts to sell fresh fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods with limited access to healthy foods;
  • Offering Health Bucks that provide lower-income families with $2 to buy fresh fruits and vegetables for every $5 they spend with their EBT cards at farmers’ markets; and
  • Providing nutrition education and cooking demonstrations to lower-income families at farmers’ markets and child-care centers.

Students at a child-care center that participates in New York City’s Eat Well Play Hard program.

A student enjoys a healthy snack at a child-care center that participates in New York City’s Eat Well Play Hard program.

New York is rethinking the way the city is designed and what information restaurants provide consumers. For instance, the city has:

  • Provided architects and urban designers with guidelines for designing buildings, streets and urban spaces that support physical activity;
  • Required chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus; and
  • Educated residents on the health impact of sugary drinks, including sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks and sport drinks.

Students at a child-care center that participates in New York City’s Eat Well Play Hard program.

A mother and young daughter shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at a Green Cart in New York City.

Source

Obesity in K-8 Students — New York City, 2006-07 to 2010-11 School Years

Originally posted on July 9, 2013.


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Rate Decline: Kearney, Nebraska

The Kearney school district reported a 13.4% decline in obesity among children in grades K-5 from 2006 to 2011.

In 2005, the Kearney Public Schools district received a $900,000 Carol M. White Physical Education Program Grant, which kick-started some big changes in local schools. Kearney students are now getting more physical activity throughout the entire day:

  • Physical education (PE) classes are scheduled at least every other day (some schools have PE class every day), and PE teachers use the SPARK™ curriculum, which uses evidence-based strategies to help kids get active.
  • In the classroom, teachers conduct short physical activity breaks, such as “Take 10!” and “JAMmin’ Minute.”
  • Recess now includes more opportunities for structured group physical activity games, is not used for punishment and is held indoors during winter months so kids can still be active.
  • Many schools have instituted before- and after-school walking and running clubs.
  • In high schools, gyms are open during lunch for basketball, volleyball or other activities.
  • The district bought play equipment including jump ropes, balls, rubber fitness station mats, scooter boards and Wii gaming stations to enhance physical activity during indoor and outdoor recess.

Lunch time at Buffalo Hills Elementary in Kearney, Nebraska.

Students learn about the importance of a healthy diet at Buffalo Hills Elementary in Kearney, Nebraska.

The Kearney Public Schools Food Department also is making healthy changes:

  • Elementary schools now have fruit and vegetable salad bars, including nutrient-dense options, such as spinach.
  • All meals include more whole grains, all milk is low-fat or fat-free and classroom snacks are healthier.
  • To promote healthier eating in students’ homes, the district has also started hosting special events to teach parents healthy recipes and cooking techniques.

Kearney high school students enjoying an afternoon walk.

Students swinging on the playground during recess at Buffalo Hills Elementary in Kearney, Nebraska.

Outside of the school district, the whole community is becoming invested in creating a Culture of Health. Some of Kearney’s notable initiatives include:

  • Establishing a new downtown farmers’ market;
  • Promoting and expanding community gardens;
  • Improving local parks by creating a new playground, new splash parks and revitalized swimming pools, as well as a hike and bike trail that connects much of the city;
  • Participating in Activate Buffalo County, which leads campaigns to increase physical activity and healthy eating;
  • Partnering with Good Samaritan Hospital and Sentinel Health to support student fitness activities, as well as a local greenhouse that provides healthy “potted gardens” for students’ homes; and
  • Initiating school-based efforts to help students eat healthier and move more.

A teacher shares fruit with students at Buffalo Hills Elementary in Kearney, Nebraska.

Kearney high school students enjoying a healthy lunch.

Source

The Kearney Nebraska Story: BMI Report Card Summary Report 2006-2011. (Available by request.)

Originally posted on July 9, 2013.


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Rate Decline: California

California reported a 1.1% decline in obesity among students in grades 5, 7 and 9 from 2005 to 2010.

Between 2005 and 2010, the state of California saw a modest but significant decline in the prevalence of obesity among children in grades 5, 7 and 9, after 30 years of generally rising rates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported a drop in obesity rates among California preschoolers enrolled in federal health and nutrition programs. A 2016 report shows that obesity rates among 2- to 4-year-olds from low-income families dropped 1.7%, from 18.4% in 2010 to 16.6% in 2014.

On a statewide basis, California:

  • Removed soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages from schools in 2004;
  • Has limited the calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar in snacks sold in schools since 2007;
  • Has required calorie labels on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants since 2008, when it became the first state to do so;
  • Committed $40 million in annual dedicated state funding for elementary school physical education in 2006;
  • Established the California FreshWorks Fund in 2011 as a public-private partnership loan fund created to bring grocery stores, markets that offer fresh produce, and other innovative forms of healthy food retail and distribution to communities that do not have them; and
  • In 2012, began requiring school districts to make free, fresh drinking water available in school food service areas.

The decline in the obesity rate among middle school children was documented by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, which described a “Patchwork of Progress” in the state. While the progress is uneven, many communities throughout California have undertaken creative obesity prevention activities:

  • In Santa Cruz County, a youth-led healthy restaurant initiative spurred the approval of an ordinance that requires new restaurants and transportation stations to offer and highlight healthy options, which helped the county win an RWJF Culture of Health Prize;
  • In Oakland, Oakland FRESH established 22 school-based produce markets to provide low-income families greater access to fresh foods;
  • Berkeley was the first jurisdiction in the nation to implement a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, after the measure won the support of 75% of voters in 2014;
  • In Baldwin Park, a complete streets policy was adopted in the summer of 2011 and was nationally recognized by the National Complete Streets Coalition as having the strongest implementation component of any policy nationwide; and
  • The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities Campaign, a partnership of the League of California Cities and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, helps city officials adopt policies to improve their cities’ physical activity and retail food environments, and HEAL resolutions and policies have been adopted by one third of California’s cities.

Source

A Patchwork of Progress: Changes in Overweight and Obesity Among California 5th, 7th, and 9th Graders, 2005-2010

Originally posted on July 9, 2013.


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Rate Decline: Tennessee

Tennessee reported a decline in obesity among students in grades K, 2, 4, 6, 8 and high school from 2007-08 to 2012-13.

Many of Tennessee’s obesity prevention efforts have centered on schools. In 2001, the state department of education established the Office of Coordinated School Health (CSH) to improve student health and their capacity to learn. By the 2007-2008 school year—bolstered by funding from the state and a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—all Tennessee public schools had implemented CSH. Some of the progress made to create healthy schools across the state includes:

  • The percentage of schools no longer selling soda or non-100% fruit juice increased from 27% in 2006 to 69% in 2012.
  • Beginning in 2007, schools were required to provide 90 minutes per week of physical activity time for students. By the end of the 2013-14 school year, more than 85% of school districts reported compliance and nearly two-thirds of all school districts reported exceeding the minimum requirements.
  • Since CSH was implemented statewide, 289 schools have set up in-school fitness rooms for students; 324 schools have created new gardens; 331 schools have new or updated playgrounds; and 467 schools have developed walking tracks or trails.

PE teacher helps a young girl balance and stretch during a physical education class at Scales Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Students measuring ingredients during the Junior Chef Program at Erma Siegel Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Other statewide efforts also aim to help improve health and reduce obesity among residents of all ages:

  • The Tennessee Department of Transportation adopted a statewide Complete Streets policy in 2010 to encourage walking and biking on new and existing roads.
  • The Tennessee Grocery Access Taskforce received a grant and technical assistance from the Food Trust to put forward a plan that will bring more supermarkets and other healthy food retail stores to underserved neighborhoods.  

Parents study a nutrition label during the Healthy Life program in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The initiative aims to help families transition to a healthier lifestyle.

Students during lunch in the cafeteria at Stewarts Creek Middle School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Students learn about using MyPlate to help build a healthy, balanced diet during the Junior Chef Program at Erma Siegel Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Families enjoy a variety of nutritious snacks during the Healthy Life program in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The initiative aims to help families transition to a healthier lifestyle.

Two young boys enjoy a healthy snack at First United Methodist Preschool in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Source

A Summary of Weight Status Data, Tennessee Public Schools, 2016-17

Originally posted on February 5, 2015.


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Rate Decline: Mississippi

Mississippi reported an 11.6% decline in the overweight and obesity rates among children in grades K-5 from 2005 to 2013.

For many years, Mississippi has topped the list of states with the highest rates of adult and childhood obesity. But leaders across Mississippi are working together to create a new culture that fosters regular physical activity and healthy eating. In an effort to create healthier schools, the state:

  • Set nutrition standards in 2006 for food sold in school vending machines;
  • Passed the Healthy Students Act in 2007, which set specific requirements for physical education, health education, wellness policies and school meals, snacks and drinks;
  • In 2010, began participating in the Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s State Network Project, which helps secure funding to make streets safer for walking and bicycling; and
  • Implemented Move to Learn in 2012, an initiative that encourages teachers across Mississippi to lead students in short physical activity breaks.

Young girl enjoying a healthy snack during an afterschool program at the Clinton YMCA in Clinton, Mississippi.

Fresh fruit is on the menu for students at Eastside Elementary in Clinton, Mississippi.

Strong collaboration has been a key factor in creating and sustaining successful statewide initiatives.

  • In 2012, the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, the National Grocers Association and The Food Trust convened the Mississippi Grocery Access Task Force to address the lack of supermarkets and other retailers that offer healthy, affordable foods in underserved areas throughout the state.
  • Led by the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, the Just Have a Ball program engages elementary school students in a playful, interactive assembly about the importance of eating healthy and being active. To date, more than 20,000 children across the state have participated and received a playground ball of their own to take home. With funding from the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Mississippi and Subway® Restaurants, the program will reach another 6,000 children in 2014-2015.
  • Mississippi has a growing movement within its faith-based communities that encourages congregations and families to prepare healthy meals and integrate physical activity into everyday life.

A staff member at the Clinton YMCA in Clinton, Mississippi, encourages a young boy during an afterschool program.

Students at Eastside Elementary in Clinton, Mississippi, enjoy an active physical education class with their teacher.

More than 100 students received a free playground ball as part of the Just Have a Ball celebration held at Dana Elementary in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Students at McLeod Elementary in Jackson, Mississippi, take part in a fun walk.

Source

Prevalence and Trends in Overweight and Obesity among Mississippi Public School Students, 2005 – 2013

Originally posted on February 5, 2015.


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Rate Decline: Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln reported an 8.2% decline in the obesity rates among children in grades K-8 from 2010 to 2013.

Lincoln, Nebraska, is a city whose leaders are committed to a creating a Culture of Health across all sectors. Residents are becoming more physically active and eating healthier, and the city reported a decline in obesity rates among both school-age children and adult employees of local businesses from 2010 to 2013.

Children having fun on a climbing wall during physical education class at Fredstrom Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Children take a physical activity break in the classroom at Fredstrom Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln is a coalition dedicated to making healthy choices easier, through innovative efforts and programs like:

  • A healthy beverage initiative, including a “Rethink Your Drink” public service campaign and an effort to encourage employers to stock, promote and competitively price healthy beverage options;
  • The Lincoln Public Schools Wellness office, which focuses on changing policies and practices to improve students’ health and fitness and is overseen by a full-time wellness facilitator;
  • A community-wide initiative providing education and support to pregnant and breastfeeding moms; and
  • Community engagement programs, like “Fit by 2015,” an effort to reduce the number of obese children in Lincoln’s elementary and middle schools to below 15% by the 2015-2016 school year and Streets Alive, an annual outdoor “moving festival” featuring events like a farmers’ market and a celebration of cycling.

A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are on the menu at Fredstrom Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Children practice yoga at an after-school program at the Malone Community Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Other highlights of Lincoln’s all-hands-on-deck approach to obesity prevention include:

  • Workplace wellness programs adopted by city businesses have reported a decline in obesity rates among participating employees.
  • Lincoln became an early champion of Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties after adopting the 54321GO childhood obesity prevention program in 2013. The program emphasizes good nutrition, adequate physical activity and minimal screen time.
  • The city health department sponsors a Summer Food Service Program, which provides healthy summer meals to children from low-income families.
Children take a swimming class at the YMCA in Lincoln, Nebraska.

In 2013, Mayor Chris Beutler issued a five-year “Community Health Challenge,” to make healthy living a top priority and to work toward becoming the healthiest city in the nation. The city’s trailblazing efforts represent some big steps in the right direction.

Students using stationary bicycles in the library at Scott Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Students at Scott Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska, get moving in physical education class.

Source

Fit by 2015 Community Update

Originally posted on February 5, 2015.


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Rate Decline: DuPage County, Illinois

DuPage Co., reported a 4.5% decline in the overweight and obesity rates among students in grades K, 6 and 9 from 2011 to 2014.

DuPage County, Illinois, in 2009 launched a major obesity-prevention effort called FORWARD (Fighting Obesity Reaching healthy Weight Among Residents of DuPage). FORWARD has been the key driver of the county’s efforts to create healthier communities for children and families. Since 2009, FORWARD has:

  • Annually measured student body mass index (BMI) to help track rates of overweight and obesity over time.
  • Spread the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® recommendations created by the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago’s Children to schools, libraries, doctor’s offices, after-school programs and other local organizations. The recommendations encourage children to get five servings of fruits and vegetables, four servings of water, three servings of low-fat dairy, two hours or less of screen time and one hour or more of physical activity every day.
  • Launched “Rethink your Drink” in 2012 with the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO). Participating hospitals and businesses display signage to encourage people to choose healthier drinks, such as water. Working with FORWARD and IAPO, all five hospital systems serving DuPage County have made improvements to their food and beverage environments, including labeling and creating price incentives for healthy foods, offering more fresh fruits and vegetables and offering water as the default beverage in meal deals.
  • Created the FORWARD Action Network (FAN) to support healthcare providers’ efforts to address obesity. The FAN provides guidance to help providers address nutrition, physical activity and obesity with pediatric patients. It also connects providers with local resources that encourage healthy eating and physical activity, such as ProActive Kids—a free wellness program for families.
  • In 2013, awarded mini-grants totaling $42,000 to 11 county organizations, including elementary schools, food pantries and local Ys, to purchase physical activity equipment, upgrade kitchen equipment and improve community gardens. These capacity building grants build on close to $200,000 in grants to local organizations over the previous four years.

Students get a healthy snack at William Hammerschmidt Elementary in Lombard, Illinois.

Kids get a physical activity break in school.

The county has considered health in many other aspects of its planning too, such as its long-term environmental plans. In 2012, DuPage signed onto the Cool Counties Initiative to reduce greenhouse gases. One of the recommendations states that the County should educate consumers about the benefits of buying locally grown food and shopping locally, which spurred the County to work with FORWARD to increase the number of school and community gardens.  

Healthy snacks can make fun faces.

High school students help build a school garden at Vestment High School in Westmont, Illinois.

Source

2013-2014 Body Mass Index Surveillance Report: Overweight and Obesity Among DuPage County School Students

Originally posted on February 5, 2015.


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Rate Decline: Southern California

Southern California reported an 8.4% decline in the obesity rate among children and teenagers from 2008 to 2013.

California has demonstrated leadership in making changes to help all kids grow up at a healthy weight. In the southern part of the state, from Bakersfield and Kern County down to San Diego, Kaiser Permanente—an organization perhaps best known as a healthcare provider—has been spearheading efforts to create a Culture of Health.

A mother and daughter enjoy a healthy snack from a food truck at The Quartyard in San Diego.

The Lauderbach Elementary Safe Streets Program, in Chula Vista, encourages children to walk and bicycle to school.

At Whittier YMCA, kids work together while engaging in physical activity.

Students at Whittier YMCA bounce their way to maintaining a healthy weight.

Kaiser operates a wide variety of community programs in Southern California dedicated to helping children eat healthier foods and move more:

  • HEAL (Healthy Eating, Active Living) Zones: Since 2004, Kaiser Permanente has launched six HEAL Zones across the region. Working with other local partners, Kaiser strives to build safe walking and biking routes, improve access to affordable healthy foods, ensure parks are clean and safe for families to use and build after school programs for children and teens.
  • In 2008, the YMCA of Greater Whittier partnered with two hospitals, the city of Whittier, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to establish Activate Whittier. The local partnership focused on programs to promote healthier choices in local convenience stores, supporting school wellness councils and engaging residents in local advocacy projects. Middle-school student Analaura Amezquita won their contest to design a “Healthy Picks” logo, and after the stores started using it to designate healthier items, the percentage of customers paying attention to healthy food choices grew from 17 to 50%.
  • Fire Up Your Feet: Kaiser also worked with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the National Parent Teacher Association on this online campaign to encourage kids to walk or bike to school. The website lets students track their progress and compete with friends, and provides schools with tools for healthy fundraisers.

Throughout the last decade, Kaiser Permanente has worked with a wide variety of local partners to make it easier for its members—and other young people in Southern California—to lead healthier lives, and they report that they’re making progress.

Between 2008 and 2013, Kaiser Permanente measured the height and weight of 1.3 million youth ages 2 to 19. The obesity rate among these children and adolescents dropped from 19.1% in 2008 to 17.5% in 2013. The declines were seen across age, sex, race and ethnicity, and family income, but were greater among boys, young children, and white and Asian youth. Continued focus is needed to ensure that all young people in the region—no matter who they are or where they live—are able to grow up at a healthy weight.

At Edison Elementary School in San Diego students have healthier lunch options to choose from.

Students at Whittier YMCA prepare a meal.

Students take part in a teacher-led fitness class at Longfellow Elementary HEAL ZONE, which promotes healthy eating and activity.

Father and daughter take a stroll down Whittier Greenway Trail, a 4.5-mile recreational and commuter bikeway and pedestrian path.

Source

Secular Trends of Overweight and Obesity in Young Southern Californians 2008-2013

Originally posted on June 23, 2016.


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Rate Decline: Seminole County, Florida

Seminole Co., reported a 13.7% decline among children in grades 1, 3 and 6 from 2006-07 to 2013-14.

The Florida Department of Health has a straightforward, if bold, vision: for Florida to be the healthiest state in the nation. Seminole County, on the outskirts of Orlando, is doing all it can to help the state achieve that vision and creating healthier communities for its citizens along the way. In the last several years, the county has made a wide variety of changes to help make sure young people in the county can grow up at a healthy weight.

Students at Lawton Chiles Middle School in Seminole Co., Florida., choose from healthier a la carte options.

Students take part in a before-school run club at Keeth Elementary.

  • Seminole County Public Schools creates healthy entrée options in onsite kitchens. It participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, providing a fresh fruit or vegetable snack to students daily along with weekly nutrition education and monthly promotions. Many schools also have gardens that host educational events, promote physical activity and use produce to make nutritional snacks.
  • The county’s WIC program actively participates in outreach activities throughout the year, helping qualifying participants enroll and providing participants with healthy grocery shopping workshops. It also has an active breastfeeding support group, which works to increase rates of breastfeeding and continuation of breastfeeding among clients.
  • County officials have worked with Nemours Children’s Health System to distribute 5-2-1-Almost None messaging and materials in schools and rec centers throughout the county. The program encourages young people to eat five fruits or vegetables each day, have no more than two hours of screen time, get one hour of physical activity, and drink almost no sugary drinks.
  • The county has developed more than 40 miles of paved multipurpose trails, allowing residents and visitors to walk, jog, ride bicycles and roller blade safely from one side of the county to the other. These trails connect neighborhoods to schools, shopping, parks and places of business.
  • Greenwood Lakes Park, located between a middle school and a high school, installed ten new exercise stations to help residents be active.
  • The county hosts a 4-H Healthy Kids Cooking program for youth 8-12. The classes help teach young people that healthy snacks and meals can be delicious, fast and easy.
  • The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) helps families create healthier eating practices and get more physical activity, and the program has seen success. For every $1 spent on EFNEP programming, $10.64 is saved on health care costs, and $2.48 is saved on food expenses.
  • ROCK (Reducing Obesity Among Central Fla. Kids) was launched in 2008 after the community recognized childhood obesity as a problem. ROCK helps pull together other local organizations and families to raise awareness of the challenges, share culturally appropriate messages about healthy choices and active living and provide funding for local initiatives.
Students take part in an outdoor yoga class at Goldsboro Elementary.

Together, the county’s school system and Leisure Services Department are working to create healthier school and community environments for children and families.

“Seminole County is moving forward with fostering strong partnerships to ensure health is considered in all policies,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer of the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County. “As a community, the more we work together and keep health at the forefront, the more we can change the behaviors, choices and environment in which people live.”

Students participating in a cooking class at Goldsboro Elementary.

Students gardening at Goldsboro Elementary.

Source

State of Florida 2013-2014 Summary of School Health Services

Originally posted on June 23, 2016.


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