The link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning is well documented. Healthy eating and activity patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being. Healthy eating and physical activity—essential for a healthy weight—are linked to reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many other chronic diseases. Schools have a responsibility to help students learn, establish, and maintain lifelong healthy eating and activity patterns. Well-planned and effectively implemented school nutrition and fitness programs have been shown to enhance students' overall health as well as their behavior and academic achievement. Staff wellness is also an integral part of a healthy school environment since school staff can be daily role models for healthy behaviors.
Goals for Nutrition Education, School Nutrition, and Available Foods
- Nutrition education will be integrated into other areas of the curriculum such as math, language arts, and social studies.
- Healthy food choices shall be available at extracurricular activities when food is sold.
Goals for Physical Activity and Education
- All schools are strongly recommended to incorporate thirty minutes of daily physical education by a certified teacher.
- Students in grades three through five will utilize the Fitnessgram annually to test and evaluate their fitness levels; students in grade six through twelve will utilize a research-based test.
- All schools will conduct the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's School Health Index assessment for physical activity, healthy eating, and a tobacco-free lifestyle annually.