Societal shifts in policy, environments, food industry products and marketing and health behaviors
Impacts health Indicators of poor health - physical, psychosocial, emotional, social, and school functioning – are present in obese children at 5.5 times the rate of their normal-weight peers (Schwimmer et al., 2003). Impacts attendance Obesity better predictor of attendance than other factors (Geier, et al 2007) Impacts academic performance Overweight or obese children in every grade experience poorer academic outcomes than their normal-weight peers (Taras and Potts-Datema, 2005).
Solutions to the obesity epidemic must come from multiple sources, involve multiple levels and sectors, and take into account the synergy of multiple strategies. - IOM report: Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation, 2012
Increase academic performance Reduce absenteeism Build healthy habits to last into adulthood Local school wellness policies provide unprecedented opportunities to address healthy eating and active living among school age children.
Up to half of children’s waking hours are spent in school. Local school wellness policies provide unprecedented opportunities to address healthy eating and active living among school age children. Increase academic performance Reduce absenteeism Build healthy habits to last into adulthood
Reduced physical activity time as part of PE Reduced recess time Fewer children walking or biking to school Increased marketing of unhealthy foods to children, including exposure in the school setting Sales of foods and beverages of limited nutritional value: in vending machines, school stores, snack bars, fundraisers …compromise healthy school environments.
Federally mandated since 2004 School district wellness policy provisions have improved Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, 2010 – will strengthen wellness policies with emphasis on ongoing implementation and assessment KC Healthy Schools Committee represents schools and an impressive array of supporters
Institute of Medicine: Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation (2012) Goal: Make schools a national focal point for obesity prevention. Recommendation: Federal, state, and local government and education authorities, with support from parents, teachers, and the business community and the private sector, should make schools a focal point for obesity prevention.
Strategies ( IOM report, continued ) Require quality physical education and opportunities for physical activity in schools. Ensure strong nutritional standards for all foods and beverages sold or provided through schools. Ensure food literacy, including skill development, in schools.
From Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Strategies: Reduce youths' exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods through regulation, policy and effective industry self-regulation.
Cost-effectiveness of Obesity Interventions (Gortmaker, et al 2011) Top interventions for cost savings and health promotion Reduction of advertising of junk food and beverages to children School-based education program to reduce television viewing Multi-faceted school-based program including nutrition and physical activity School-based education program to reduce sugar-sweetened drink consumption
Implementation has its own set of issues! (Amis, et al. 2012) Policy adoption and implementation “is a process, not a single event”– shaped by many forces underlying values and cultural beliefs, and rules towards these will influence whether polices are adopted and supported many policies require additional resources to implement “policy cacophony” (example: 50 new policies per year) Emphasis on varsity sports has a detrimental effect on PE (HS level)
Weighing In Building a Healthier Heartland Greater KC Food Policy Coalition Vision School-age children enjoy optimal growth and development in the Kansas City area where active living and healthy eating is supported for all
1. Assess school wellness policies in Greater Kansas City Schools 2. Identify supports needed, barriers and priorities to implement and enhance school wellness policies in schools 3. Identify priorities for collaborative action 4. Generate attention and support for improving school wellness policies
Thanks to the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City for funding support to Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and the University of Kansas that are conducting this assessment.