The Case for Wellness Policies

Map of Obesity Rates

Explore these resources to understand why wellness policies are so important in promoting student health and wellness. Check out the data sources section at the bottom for more supporting evidence and the success stories page for more examples.


Wellness Reports


Research on Local School District Wellness Policies

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Bridging the Gap.

This Web site has research products related to the annual collection and coding of school district wellness policies, including various research and progress reports on wellness policies, data sets, coding tools, and presentation slides on research findings.


The Learning Connection: What You Need to Know to Ensure Your Kids are Healthy and Ready to learn

Action for Healthy Kids.

This document uses graphics and data to make the case for wellness policies.


Case Study Approach Examining Local Wellness Policy Development and the Perceived Impact to the School Community (2008) (PDF | 300 KB)

Institute of Child Nutrition.

Case study that evaluates the impact and success of local wellness policies, as well as the factors that prevent them from being successful.


Promoting Student Achievement through Improved Health Policy (November 2015)

National Association of State Boards of Education.

Promoting Student Achievement through Improved Health Policy is a quick primer of the CDC’s “Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child” model, which highlights 10 important areas for connecting health and learning.


Health and Academics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This Web site has resources and a general overview of the connection between the academic success of America’s youth and their health.


F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012 (September 2012)

Trust for America’s Health. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

2012 state-by-state analysis of current and future obesity rates, predicting dramatic increases in obese adults and related disease rates and health costs over the next 20 years.


Healthy People 2020

DHHS. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Web site with resources and data to support the Healthy People 2020 campaign which challenges individuals, communities, and professionals to take specific steps to ensure that good health and long life are enjoyed by all.


The Case for Stronger Nutrition Standards


Competitive Foods and Beverages in U.S. Schools: A State Policy Analysis (2012) (PDF | 13.48 MB)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This report details CDC’s analysis of requirements included in state laws, regulations, and policies related to the availability and nutritional content of competitive foods in schools on the basis of how closely they align with the recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools.


Implementing Strong Nutrition Standards for Schools: Financial Implications (PDF | 1.85 MB)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This colorful, clear document provides the data to support stronger nutrition standards in schools and evidence that it can be accomplished with financial stability.


State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables (2013) (PDF | 4.62 MB)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This report provides information for each state on fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption, and environment and policy indicators of support for consumption.


Nutrition and the Health of Young People

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC provides evidence supporting the importance of proper nutrition in young people including research regarding benefits of healthy eating, consequences of a poor diet, eating behaviors of young people, diet and academic performance. Additionally, the CDC provides key resources relating to nutrition and the health of young people.


Reducing Sodium in Children's Diets (September 2014)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Information about sodium in children’s diets and tips to reduce intake.


The Case for Physical Activity Standards


The Association between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance (July 2010) (PDF | 2.54 MB)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This report is a literature review that examines 23 years of research on the relationship between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance.


Shape of the Nation Report for 2016

Society of Health and Physical Educators. National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

This report provides a current picture of physical education in the American education system. Also, included on this site are state profiles, state physical education charts, and report highlights.


2014 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children & Youth (PDF | 4.7 MB)

National Physical Activity Plan Alliance.

This evidence-based document provides a comprehensive evaluation of the physical activity levels and the indicators influencing physical activity among U.S. children and youth.


Increasing Physical Activity Through Recess (January 2012)

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research.

Providing recess during the school day is an effective and efficient way to increase physical activity and improve academic performance among children. Recess is important because it can help kids get up to 40 percent of their total daily physical activity.


Do Short Physical Activity Breaks in Classrooms Work? (February 2013)

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research.

Programs that provide classroom physical activity breaks can increase physical activity, and improve on-task behavior as well as some measures of health. There are a variety of programs that can be used to help kids be active in as little as 10-15 minutes.


Data and Statistics


School Health Profiles (2014)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The School Health Profiles (Profiles) is a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, territories, and tribal governments.


School Health Policies and Practices Study (2014)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The School Health Policies and Practices Study * (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels.


Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (2012)

The Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health. Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative.

Provides access to children's health data, which allows researchers, policymakers, family advocates and consumers to work together to promote a higher quality health care system for children, youth, and families.


Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Data from high school and middle school surveys are included. You can filter and sort on the basis of race/ethnicity, sex, grade, or site, create customized tables and graphs, and perform statistical tests by site and health topic.


Physical Activity Data and Statistics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This resource provide the latest facts, statistics, and surveillance systems related to physical activity and obesity.


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