Promoting Healthy School Environments
In DuPageCounty, more than one in seven (15%) kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth-grade public school students suffered from childhood obesity in 2018-2019. An obese child is more likely to be an obese adult and develop high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other problems.
Schools are a natural environment to promote healthy eating and physical activity, reduce stress and improve sleep patterns. Research indicates that integrating health into school environments gives students the opportunity for academic advantage. For the past twelve years, through a partnership with the Regional Office of Education and the DuPage County Health Department, FORWARD DuPage has been working with DuPage County schools to survey BMI rates, increase student's healthy food and physical activity options, and help school leaders implement health-promoting policies.
Recommendations to Help Your School Take Action:
5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
4 servings of water a day
3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
2 or less hours of screen time a day
1 or more hours of physical activity a day
Develop a Healthy Schools Program
Conduct the School Health Index (SHI) assessment in your school and develop an Action Plan based on the results.
Create a School Health Advisory Council (Wellness Committee).
Set a good example; make your school a healthy worksite.
Incorporate nutrition education and physical education into the school day.
Plant a school garden.
Host events and expand relationships with parents, volunteers, and other community partners.