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The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success through Healthy School Environments Sara Robbins, RD Dairy Max July 25, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success through Healthy School Environments Sara Robbins, RD Dairy Max July 25, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success through Healthy School Environments Sara Robbins, RD Dairy Max July 25, 2013

2 Today’s environment New understanding on connections between nutrition, physical activity and cognition. Schools’ role more important than ever – cost to not improving wellness Barriers to implementing wellness policies Actions for school and community stakeholders Overview

3 Almost one-third of youth ages 2-19 are overweight or obese Over 22% of children live in food- insecure homes The Double Burden of Obesity and Malnutrition

4 Conditions such as: High Cholesterol Type 2 Diabetes/ Impaired Glucose Tolerance High Blood Pressure Social Problems and Poor Self-Esteem Sleep Disturbances Orthopedic Problems Overweight or Obese Children Are at Risk for

5 Demographic Shifts Aging of America Minority segments Healthcare Costs Continue to rise Major concern of employers Future Job Market Knowledge-base not physical labor New skills Contextual Factors Shaping the Future

6 Physical Activity – Healthy Eating Are Linked With…… Academic Success Health & Well-being Risk for: Obesity Chronic conditions Chronic Disease

7 Mutually Reinforcing HIGHER ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT POSITIVE HEALTH BEHAVIORS

8 Still the target.

9 Nutrition results are in New

10 The Brain Where it begins Brain functions may be enhanced or hindered by nutrition and physical activity, or lack thereof, throughout lifetime Brain self-modifies to adapt to its environment Some research indicates nutrition and physical activity can affect pre-frontal cortex This part of brain regulates executive functions: working memory, judgment or inhibition, and problem solving

11 What you eat or don’t eat matters to your brain

12 Benefits of Breakfast at School Improved attention Increased math & reading scores Fewer disciplinary referrals Fewer visits to health office Less tardiness Improved attendance

13 Improving School Performance Breakfast makes academic and economic sense Neural networks had different activation patterns in breakfast- eaters versus non-eaters More effort was needed by breakfast skippers; more mistakes, too Studies in well-nourished children who skipped breakfast found adverse effects on attention and memory

14 Breakfast Comes in Many Forms

15 Changes to cognition after single bout of exercise, a 20-minute walk Imaging shows more brain activity in active person than in person sitting quietly Other research shows obesity may have negative effects on cognition Tracking Cognitive Effects of Physical Activity

16 CDC assessment of school-based activity and achievement found: Increasing or maintaining time for PE does not adversely impact academic performance Substantial evidence that school- based physical activity can: Improve academic achievement (including grades and standardized test scores) Impact cognitive skills, attitudes toward school and academic behavior CDC Assessment: School-based Physical Activity and Academic Achievement

17 Neuro-Imaging Suggests Association Physical activity may positively impact academic achievement Some research indicates brains of aerobically fit children exhibit superior executive functions Some research indicates benefits include resistance to distraction, improved math and reading scores

18 Physical Activity Integrated into Class -Students who spent more time being physically active (school and home) had better test scores for reading, math and spelling -Adding activity breaks did not disrupt learning -Students were more active when teachers participated in activities, too -Compared with control group, physically active students improved academic performance

19 What does status quo cot?

20 Survey of High School Students Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System 2011 Less than 1/3 of students reported having 3 servings of fruit Only 15% of students reported having 3 servings of vegetables 15% of students reported having 3 servings of milk Breakfast was eaten on all 7 days most often by white 40%, Hispanic 37% and black 31% students Data self-reported by students on the 7 days prior to the survey

21 Percent of High School Students Who Had: YRBS, 2011 PE Class 1+day(s)/week PE class daily Physically Active 60+min/day on all 7 days

22 Inequities persist Socioeconomic (SES) status is connected to school wellness High school students in low-SES schools are less likely than their peers in high- SES schools to have established wellness policies (69% vs. 84%) Similar gaps exist regarding: participation opportunities in sports programs amount of formal nutrition education offered Socioeconomic Status School Wellness Academic Performance Overweight or obese children and adolescents in every grade experience poorer academic outcomes than normal- weight peers

23 Status of Landmark School Wellness Policies Implementation varies greatly between and within districts Enforcement of wellness policies largely missing Many districts do not name a “point person” for evaluating and evolving policies for nutrition and physical activity

24 CDC School Health Profiles 2010: Healthy Eating Percentage range of schools and median number across states that: Used pricing strategies to lower cost of healthy foods and increase unhealthy foods Collected suggestions on promoting healthy eating Provided nutrition info Conducted taste tests Provided students cafeteria tours Implemented 3+ of above strategies Range Median From school year Source:

25 Percentage range and median number of schools across states that : Required PE for students in any of grades 6-12 Did NOT allow students in any of grades 6-12 to be exempt Offered opportunities for students to participate in intramural or activity clubs Offered community sponsored PA classes/lessons outside of school hours at the school CDC School Health Profiles 2010: Physical Activity Range Median From school year Source:

26 Ignoring School Wellness The Costs Mount Costs to children Costs to schools Costs to society

27 Overweight and Obesity Costs in the U.S. Obesity-related illness is estimated at $190 billion 21% of annual medical spending is associated with obesity-related illness Childhood obesity costs alone are estimated at $14 billion for direct medical costs Source: Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation, Institute of Medicine, 2012

28 Military Preparedness “ Mission Readiness” estimates that as many as a fourth of military-age youth are ineligible for service because of their weight $1 billion spent per year treating weight-related diseases

29 Cost to Business Annual losses to businesses from obesity-related absenteeism estimated to be over $4 billion Survey of human resources professionals cited leading factor that will have the largest impact on the workplace over the next five years: #1 emerging content area in terms of its importance for future graduates entering the U.S. workforce in the next five years: Rising Health Care Costs Making Appropriate Choices Concerning Health and Wellness Source: Are They Really Ready to Work? Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of new Entrants to the 21 st Century Workforce

30 Common Barriers to Wellness Lack of: Time Money Support No prioritization of wellness Unavailability of tools/training for implementing wellness practices Poor communication and education of stakeholders

31 Creating a Culture of Wellness A Realistic View Culture of Wellness Wellness Policies Support System Communication & Promotion

32 Create a Support System Take leadership role in setting tone and vision for healthy schools Communicate link between nutrition, physical activity and achievement Establish wellness council and create strong wellness policy Involve students! Gather data about health and wellness policies/practices and evaluate impact

33 Instill Comprehensive Wellness Policies Provide additional opportunities for students to be physically active Reach out to families and community partners for support Be a healthy role model and encourage others to be role models, as well

34 Communicate and Promote School Wellness Expand school breakfast, and offer alternative breakfast opportunities at school Make sure all food served and sold at school – including school meals and “competitive” foods – is appealing, nutritious and aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Ensure that high-quality, standards-based physical education is offered to all students in all grades Provide standards-based health education to all students in all grades Provide recess for elementary school students and in- class physical activity breaks for all students

35 Resources

36 Build schools’ capacity for implementing wellness policies Places students at the forefront in helping to make and participate in healthy changes Developed by National Dairy Council and National Football League in collaboration with USDA and other organizations FuelUpToPlay60.com

37

38 Let’s Move

39 Presidential Youth Fitness Program

40 Breakfast in the Classroom Resource Center docs.schoolnutrition.org/SNF/BIC/

41 Team Nutrition HealthierUS School Challenge index.html USDA

42 CDC: School Health Index and Other Resources

43

44 Thank you! Sara Robbins, RD


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