First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announce proposed school wellness standards and roll out of breakfast and lunch programs for schools that serve low income communities. Read more here.
Bill Clinton announced at the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Summit in La Quinta, CA the expansion of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s focus on Out-of-School Time to increase the ability of programs to purchase healthier food. A World Fit for Kids! was an invited partner and attended the summit. While the Alliance has established a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs, all afterschool programs will be able to take advantage of their assistance in purchasing healthier foods at affordable prices! Click here to learn more and check out the New Collaboration. The Center for Collaborative Solutions and several of our HBI Learning Centers (A World Fit for Kids!, Woodcraft Rangers, and Sacramento START) have had long-standing collaborations with the Alliance’s Out-of-School Time work.
The California Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) Collaborative (CCS is a proud member) brings together state leaders committed to improving student wellness and academic success. By leveraging their collective resources, the collaborative members are building a statewide infrastructure that supports schools in updating and implementing their Local School Wellness Policies. Learn more about the collaborative and it's goals here.
New evaluation finds that A World Fit for Kids! has a healthy impact on the kids it serves. A World Fit for Kids! is one of the original HBI Learning Center programs. View the full article on the Afterschool Alliance Blog. View the research here.
A new USDA study on nutrition education shows that it can be effective in increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. Engaging parents is also important. Read summary findings here.
This month the new government of Mexico made history. In the country that consumes more soda per capita than any in the world, the national Congress struck a major blow for public health by passing a one-peso-per-liter tax on soda and an 8 percent tax on junk food. Separate legislation now pending would devote some of the revenue to build water fountains in schools throughout the country. That would enable Mexico to pull off a fabulous piece of policy alchemy: turning soda packed with sugar into water full of … H2O. Read more.
Philanthropedia ranks childhood nutrition/health nonprofits and many of our friends make the cut. Non-profit agencies who didn’t make the list but show promise worthy of mention include the Center for Collaborative Solutions. Find out more.
We are making progress with young children's consumption of sugary drinks but not with adolescents. This study shows an alarming 8% spike in consumption of soda and other sugary drinks among adolescents, the biggest consumers of these beverages.
This article provides a national perspective on the new school meal standards for our school partners. In California, as of today, 89% of the 1,329 school food authorities have been certified as meeting the updated meal standards!
The HBI learning center at Kids Campus got good press about their food bank partnership. Congrats!! Read the article here.
A recent report found 73 percent of teachers said they regularly instruct hungry students who don’t have enough to eat at home, and 87 percent of principals said they consistently see hungry students in school. How do we help starving students? Our own Dr. Andi Fletcher discusses this topic on HuffPost Live.
School districts nationwide are showing improvements in measures related to nutritional policies, physical education and tobacco policies, according to the 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS). SHPPS is the largest and most comprehensive survey to assess school health policies. Read more.
A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS), shows the very positive impact of the 2009 SNAP benefits boost created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the harm caused by lower benefits. That is because the report shows that, as the value of SNAP benefits has declined due to inflation in food prices after 2009, there has been a significant increase (16.5 percent) in very low food security in SNAP households and a decrease (4.4 percent) in median food spending by SNAP households.
The USDA ChooseMyPlate website has several new videos that are sure to inspire you to make changes... motivate you to eat healthier... and make you laugh out loud (LOL).
Rates of childhood obesity showed the first signs of a small decline in 19 of 43 sites studied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite this encouraging news, nearly 1 in 6 (17%) children and teens are obese, including 1 in 8 (12%) preschoolers. “We cannot become complacent,” says David L. Katz, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Childhood Obesity, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, and Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center (Derby, CT). Read more. Learn more about the CDC report here.
The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau is hosting the inaugural Farm-to-Fork Festival on Capitol Mall to celebrate the abundant local products Sacramento has to offer. Farmers and producers of all types will display their products and educate Sacramento on how to eat local as well as the importance of local sustainability. The free outdoor festival will feature a large farmers’ market, educational displays, livestock, food and drink, live music, and much more.
A report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released last week found that the price per serving for fruits and vegetables is often less than other, less healthful snacks and side dishes. CSPI determined that the average price per serving of fruit or vegetable snacks ($0.34) was nearly half as much as the less healthy snacks ($0.67) analyzed in the study. Read more.
Last month, the American Medical Association officially labeled obesity a disease. The AMA’s decision has unleashed a flood of news reports and Op-eds, and the coverage largely emphasizes solutions focused on the individual, without discussing the critical need for a population approach.
We can’t let this conversation get away from us—it’s too important. We don’t yet know what effects the AMA’s decision will have, but it’s clear we’ve reached a crucial juncture in our national conversation about health. And among the challenges we face in moving forward with a public health agenda are the very words we use when we talk about chronic disease. The O-word keeps the focus on individuals, not on policies that could help curb harmful industry practices and create healthier environments. Read more.
The risk of elevated blood pressure among children and teens has risen 27 percent over a 13-year period, and is probably caused by over-consumption of salt and rising obesity, according to a new study. Read more.
A comprehensive study comparing the burden of disease across 187 nations worldwide has found that the United States continues to lose ground on key measures of health compared to people in other nations, with obesity and related diseases a primary factor. Researchers found that poor dietary habits now surpass smoking as the most important risk factor associated with years of life lost to disability and to premature death. Read More.
Click here to view the complete abstract, including the chart above.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an interim final rule last week that updated nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold in school vending machines, stores and a la carte lines. The new standards are scheduled to take effect at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. In a statement, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said the new standards are “critical to addressing the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic and helping our most vulnerable children get the foods and drinks they need to grow up strong and healthy.”
According to researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, only half of American children get the recommended levels of daily physical activity and only one-third eat suggested amounts of fruits and vegetables. Researchers also found that nearly three-quarters of children did not have a healthy eating pattern. Researchers surveyed nearly 10,000 students ages 11 to 16 in 39 states.
According to a study led by researchers at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, well-rested children eat healthier foods than their sleep-deprived peers. The study—supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases—found that teens who reported sleeping fewer than seven hours per night were more likely to consume fast food two or more times per week and less likely to eat healthy food.
Ebonee Le’Treice, dance coach at HBI Learning Center program A World Fit for Kids! in downtown LA, has been awarded one of 3 Coach of the Year Awards by Up2Us, a sports-based youth development program. Ebonee’s award category is “Obesity Reduction”. She has coached dance at A World Fit for Kids! for over 6 years, and during her tenure there has built strong, positive relationships with her students and has seen incredible transformations in their health, self-esteem, and leadership skills. Click here to see Ebonee in action with her Virgil Middle School Hip Hop Squad.
HBI leaders Andi Fletcher and Kathy Lewis have been honored as two of 34 Americans to receive the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Community Leadership Award for their outstanding work in promoting physical activity and healthy eating in afterschool programs and making a difference in the lives of more than a million children and their families in cities and towns across California. Read more.
As the Food and Drug Administration works to finalize national menu labeling regulations, a new research review from Healthy Eating Research shows most consumers want menu labeling at the point of purchase in restaurants and cafeterias.
Other findings from the review of nearly 50 studies published between 2008 and 2012 show:
- Customers notice menu labels at the point of purchase, and those labels increase their awareness of nutritional information.
- The impact of menu labeling may be greater among women and on higher-calorie items.
We know from research that summer learning loss suffered by kids who do not have access to engaging summer programs is significant. Public Profit, an evaluation and technical assistance firm, has just released their findings on the benefits that children accrued by participating in pilot summer programs across the state. To access their report, click here.
Fulfilling a commitment made three years ago, 16 companies including brand owners such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle USA, Kellogg, General Mills, and Kraft Foods announced that they had reached their goal of taking 1.5 trillion calories out of the marketplace, three years ahead of schedule.
The Twin Cities — Minneapolis-St.Paul — are the healthiest, fittest cities in the USA for the third year in a row, according to an analysis of the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the USA. Other top fit cities: Washington, D.C., Portland, San Francisco, Denver, Boston, and Sacramento. The annual American Fitness Index, out today from the American College of Sports Medicine, is based on a number of health behaviors including smoking, exercise, obesity rates, chronic health problems and access to health care. It also looks at the environment including availability of parks, recreational facilities, walking trails and farmers' markets. Read more
HBI Learning Center, Fitness 4 Life, provides after-school programs that give students a glimpse of healthy lifestyles through fun activities such as cooking, bicycling, dancing, swimming and nutrition. The yearlong program culminates in a two-day triathlon, which allows the kids to put all they’ve learned to use. Read more
The USDA Farm to School Team is pleased to announce that the Food and Nutrition Service’s Team Nutrition has released two exciting new curriculum resources offering interactive and exploratory lessons to connect school gardens with nutrition messages in the classroom, school cafeteria, and at home.
Dig In! helps kids, teachers, and parents explore a world of possibilities in the garden and on the plate using ten inquiry-based lessons that engage 5th and 6th graders in growing, harvesting, tasting, and learning about fruits and vegetables. Dig In! also includes a gardening guide, booklets for parents/caregivers, and six dynamic posters encouraging fruit and vegetable choices using themes that appeal to older elementary school children.
The Great Garden Detective Adventure is focused on discovering what fruits and vegetables are sweetest, crunchiest, and juiciest through a series of investigations and fun experiences connecting the school garden to the classroom, school cafeteria, and home. This eleven-lesson curriculum for 3rd and 4th grades includes bulletin board materials, veggie dice, fruit and vegetable flash cards, and ten issues of Garden Detective News for parents/caregivers.
These materials are meant to help meet English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Health standards while changing how kids think and feel about fruits and vegetables and fostering an awareness of where foods come from.
Learning in Afterschool and Summer principles are key aspects of strong afterschool programs. Hear leaders from across the state, including Andi Fletcher, HBI consultant, share why.
Read EdSource coverage on how summer programs boost student learning and social skills, a great piece titled "Summer Enrichment Programs Prove Their Value,": http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/summer-enrichment-programs-prove-their-value/31119#.UYks4LU3vzz
WestEd has released an important new study—A Climate for Academic Success—documenting that school climate was a crucial factor associated with California secondary schools that consistently, over three or four consecutive years, "beat the odds" and realized greater academic success than predicted based on the demographics of their student population. The School Climate Index used in the study was based on data from the California Healthy Kids Survey and was developed for the California Department of Education’s Safe and Supportive Schools Project. Download the brief and full report at WestEd.org/SchoolClimateReportSummary. View the archived webinar School Climate: Why It Matters, How It's Measured, and What We Can Do About It.
The Center for Best Practices recently hosted a webinar called No Kid Hungry, which highlights the huge need nationwide for nutrition resources during out-of-school time and describes what families do in summer to feed their kids and what they're looking for in summer programs that offer food.
Watch the Webinar: http://cc.readytalk.com/play?id=537p9
After school programs can reinforce learning from the school day, and serve as partners in Common Core Standards implementation. Read more about linking Common Core and Expanded Learning.
It's an important question for American families and the nation as a whole: Why do so many kids weigh too much? There are recent hints the epidemic may be abating slightly. Still, one in every three American kids is overweight or obese. To understand why, NPR conducted a poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. It focuses on what happens in American households during the hours between school and bedtime. This story is part of a series associated with the poll, called "On The Run: How Families Struggle To Eat Well And Exercise." Read More..
Research, Reports, and Tools to Support Healthy Afterschool Programs
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) and the Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Coalition has a great website focused on research, reports, and tools to support healthy afterschool programs. Whether you are an experienced health-based program or a more traditional program looking for ways to incorporate more healthy activities into your work, you will find a wealth of resources you can use today! Click here for healthy snack ideas, activity cards, interactive tools and tips, and more.
New Activity Guide: Active8
Active8 is an 8-step guide for youth providers engaging youth through creating opportunities for physical activity that are enjoyable, meets their needs and involve and encourages participation of all, including peers, staff, administrators, parents, and community members. The guide incorporates physical activities and positive physical activity culture through policy. Find it here.
How did we get to the level of obesity that threatens the health of so many Americans? Read about the science of junk food and its addictive properties, and how the giant food companies hooked us to drive up sales and market share. This article is adapted from “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” published by Random House in February 2013.
The Trust for America's Health and the Healthy Schools Campaign have released Health in Mind, which details immediate solutions that can help close the achievement gap and create a healthy future for all children. A copy of the news release is also available. The project was supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
USA Today, Michelle Healy, December 31, 2012
Recess is good for a child's body and mind, and withholding these regular breaks in the school day may be counterproductive to healthy child development, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics' first policy statement on the issue. Read More.
To get a taste of how schools across the country are featuring local, seasonal, and delicious options on their salad bars, read this blog post on National Farm to School Month website. Happy exploring!
How do you provide healthy meals for your family on a limited budget? Chef Greg Silverman, a Chefs Move to Schools participant, is working to help answer this common question.
Chef Greg manages the Cooking Matters Program, a guided grocery store tour sponsored by the non-profit Share Our Strength to teach individuals how to read labels, compare unit prices, and contrast various forms of fruits and vegetables. Tours are led by experts in the field, including culinary and health professionals. At the end of each 60 to 90 minute tour, participants put their new knowledge to use through a challenge: buy groceries to make a healthy meal for a family of four with only $10. Read more on the Let’s Move Blog >
The Rudd Center has updated its Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes Policy Brief. Since the 2009 publication on soft drink taxes, significant progress has been made in the effort to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Read More.
Students in the United States consume almost 400 billion calories from junk food sold at school each year, an equivalent to 2 billion candy bars, according to a new report from Mission: Readiness, a national security organization of retired generals and admirals. The report, Still Too Fat to Fight, calls for strong federal nutrition standards for school snacks, noting that the widespread availability of junk food in our nation’s schools contributes to the childhood obesity epidemic, seriously undermines efforts to teach children about the importance of a healthy diet, and has a negative affect on the ability of young adults to serve in the military. The United States Department of Agriculture is expected to release a proposed rule updating nutrition standards for “competitive foods” in the coming months.
Among U.S. states, Mississippi has the highest proportion of obese adults at 34.9 percent, and Colorado has the lowest, according to a survey released on Monday. Mississippi heads 12 states with adult obesity rates of more than 30 percent, trailed by Louisiana and West Virginia, according to the report by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read More.