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Step Up for a Healthier School

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  1. Step Up for a Healthier School Christy Manso The Alliance for a Healthier Generation

  2. Agenda • About the Alliance • The Issue • Competitive Food and Beverages • Meaningful Student Involvement

  3. About the Alliance Joint Partnership • William J. Clinton Foundation • American Heart Association Mission • To eliminate childhood obesity and to inspire all young people in the United States to develop lifelong, healthy habits. Goals • To stop the nationwide increase in childhood obesity by 2010 and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. • To positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor’s offices, and the community.

  4. About the Alliance Four Pillars: • Kids Movement • Motivating kids to take charge of their health and to lead their own Go Healthy movement. • • Healthcare Program • Giving tools to healthcare providers so that they can better diagnose, prevent and treat obesity.

  5. About the Alliance Four Pillars: • Healthy Schools Program • The HSP helps all schools become healthier places to learn, work, eat, and play. • Help create healthier school environments by offering resources, support, and opportunities to celebrate successes. • The HSP is designed to create a nationwide paradigm shift…in which the perception that a school environment that promotes healthy eating and physical activity is the norm and not the exception. • Industry Program • Working with industry to provide more options for physical activity and to change the food and beverage options offered to students in schools and other environments.

  6. The Issue • Whether overweight or not, children in the U.S. are often overfed, but undernourished. • Eating 8% more than they were less than 30 years ago.[i] • Under-consumption of nutrients needed to survive and over-consumption of foods that can lead to conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. • Optimal nutrition is necessary for optimal cognitive functioning. [i] Enns CW, Mickle SJ, Goldman JD. Trends in food and nutrient intakes by adolescents in the United States. Fam Econ Nutr Rev 2003; 15 (2) 15-27

  7. The Issue • Kids consume about 35 to 50% of their daily calories during the school day.[ii] • An extra 100 calories a day can lead to weight gain of 10 pounds in one year. • Limiting availability of excess calories in school environment helps prevent childhood overweight and obesity. • Even if at normal weight, healthy environments benefit all children. [ii] Neumark-Sztainer D, French S, Hanna P, Story M, Fulkerson J. “School Lunch and Snacking Patterns among High School Students: Associations with School Food Environment and Policies.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and PhysicalActivity 2005, vol. 2, published on-line at <>.

  8. Competitive Food and Beverages • Food and beverages offered outside of the school reimbursable meals program such as products sold in school vending machines, a la carte lines, snack bars, fundraisers, and school stores. • Alliance Competitive Food and Beverage Guidelines. • Science-based and age appropriate. • By adjusting the environment surrounding them, Guidelines can move children and teens to choose differently and consume fewer calories and healthier options.

  9. Meaningful Student Involvement • Adult-initiated, shared decision making with students. • Student-initiated and directed action by adults. • Student-initiated, shared decision-making with adults.

  10. Meaningful Student Involvement • Mobilizing change at the grassroots level leads to creative and sustainable solutions. • Listen to the voices of those whose behavior you want to change – the students. Get their feedback. • Students tend to resist changes they view as being “imposed” on them by school administrators, so seek their input. • Schools that successfully made the changes noted that obtaining student acceptance was particularly important.

  11. Meaningful Student Involvement

  12. Meaningful Student Involvement • Student-led action research and assessment • Engage secondary school student groups (clubs, student councils, etc.) • Students survey their peers and conduct focus groups. • To identify barriers to change and ways to reduce them. • A sample question could be, “how often does price prohibit you from buying healthier items?” • Use this information to shape messaging on the changes. • Students develop a plan of action. • Advocacy • Students interface with decision-makers to discuss the changes. • Students develop their own marketing campaigns to promote a change in snacks and beverages at their schools. • Develop tactics (posters, flyers, articles in the student paper, debates, etc.)

  13. For more information on the Alliance School Beverage and Competitive Foods Guidelines, visit and For more information on The Go Healthy Kids Movement, visit To download the “Step Up for a Healthier School” Student Toolkit, visit Christy Manso Business Development Manager Alliance for a Healthier Generation 646-775-9153