School Wellness Policy Development, Implementation, and Evaluation: Research Implications for School Board Members
2008 | Download
Studies have provided evidence that poor nutrition and limited physical activity among today’s children and youth can negatively impact their physical, social and emotional health, as well as their school attendance, learning and achievement. In addition, childhood overweight and obesity put children and youth at risk for chronic diseases in adulthood.
Schools play a critical role in feeding students, providing opportunities for physical activity and contributing to lifetime health habits. Therefore, implementation and evaluation of school nutrition and physical activity policies play a key role in childhood overweight and obesity prevention.
The California School Boards Association and California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition) commissioned a national research project to gain a better understanding of the school wellness environment in school districts across the country, and to identify challenges districts face and needs they have in order to effectively implement, monitor and evaluate school wellness policies as mandated by federal law.
This research brief is one of a series of three briefs that use the findings from the 2007 research report, School Wellness Policy Development, Implementation, and Evaluation: Perceptions, Barriers and Opportunities, to inform action steps tailored to each of the key audiences targeted in the study: school board members (SBMs), state school boards association leaders (SSBALs), and state public health nutrition directors (SPHNDs) and school wellness advocates (SWAs).