School Policies and Practices to Improve Health and Prevent Obesity: National Elementary School Survey Results

School Policies and Practices to Improve Health and Prevent Obesity: National Elementary School Survey Results

A new report from Bridging the Gap, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looks at the ways in which elementary school practices are not aligned with national recommendations concerning diet and physical activity. The report, School Policies and Practices to Improve Health and Prevent Obesity: National Elementary School Survey Results (executive summary, 16 pages, PDF), found that during the 2007-08 school year 62 percent of public elementary school students were able to purchase less healthy "competitive" foods — food or beverages sold through school stores, vending machines, and à la carte cafeteria lines — and that even meals served through the National School Lunch Program often included high-fat items. Moreover, only one in five third-grade public school students were offered daily physical education, and only 18 percent were offered at least 150 minutes of weekly physical education, as recommended by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.