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Guidelines for School Health Programs to Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating Summary Healthy eating patterns in childhood and adolescence promote optimal childhood health, growth, and intellectual development; prevent immediate health problems, such as iron deficiency anemia, obesity, eating disorders, and dental caries; and may prevent long-term health problems, such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
School health programs can help children and adolescents attain full educational potential and good health by providing them with the skills, social support, and environmental reinforcement they need to adopt long-term, healthy eating behaviors.
This report summarizes strategies most Promoting healthy habits to be effective in promoting healthy eating among school-age youths and provides nutrition education guidelines for a comprehensive school health program. These guidelines are based on a review of research, theory, and current practice, and they were developed by CDC in collaboration with experts from universities and from national, federal, and voluntary agencies.
The guidelines include recommendations on seven aspects of a school-based program to promote healthy eating: Because dietary factors "contribute substantially to the burden of preventable illness and premature death in the United States," the national health promotion and disease prevention objectives encourage schools to provide nutrition education from preschool through 12th grade 1.
Because diet influences the potential for learning as well as health, an objective of the first national education goal is that children "receive the nutrition and health care needed to arrive at school with healthy minds and bodies" 3.
The recommendations in this report are intended to help personnel and policymakers at the school, district, state, and national levels meet the national health objectives and education goals by implementing school-based nutrition education policies and programs.
This report may also be useful to students, to parents, and to personnel in local and state health departments, community-based health and nutrition programs, pediatric clinics, and training institutions for teachers and public health professionals.
These recommendations complement CDC guidelines for school health programs to prevent the spread of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS 4to prevent tobacco use and addiction 5and to promote physical activity 6.
In this report, nutrition education refers to a broad range of activities that promote healthy eating behaviors. The nutrition education guidelines focus largely on classroom instruction, but they are relevant to all components of a comprehensive school health program -- health education; a healthy environment; health services; counseling, psychological, and social services; integrated school and community efforts; physical education; nutrition services; and school-based health promotion for faculty and staff 7.
Although the meals served by school food service programs are an important part of a school health program, this report does not provide specific recommendations related to purchasing and preparing food for school meals. Detailed information on this topic is available from many other publications and information sources see Appendix A.
These guidelines also do not address the specific nutrition education and counseling needs of pregnant adolescents 20,21 or young persons with special needs These guidelines are based on a synthesis of research, theory, and current practice and are consistent with the principles of the national health education standards 29the opportunity-to-learn standards for health education 29the position papers of leading voluntary organizations involved in child nutrition 30and the national action plan to improve the American diet To develop these guidelines, CDC convened meetings of experts in nutrition education, reviewed published research, considered the recommendations of national policy documents 1,and consulted with experts from national, federal, and voluntary organizations.
Immediate effects of unhealthy eating patterns include undernutrition, iron deficiency anemia, and overweight and obesity. Chronically undernourished children attain lower scores on standardized achievement tests, especially tests of language ability When children are hungry or undernourished, they have difficulty resisting infection and therefore are more likely than other children to become sick, to miss school, and to fall behind in class 36,37 ; they are irritable and have difficulty concentrating, which can interfere with learning 38 ; and they have low energy, which can limit their physical activity Some reports have estimated that millions of children in the United States experience hunger over the course of a year 39but no scientific consensus currently exists on how to define or measure hunger 1.
A study of low-income elementary school students indicated that those who participated in the School Breakfast Program had greater improvements in standardized test scores and reduced rates of absence and tardiness than did children who qualified for the program but did not participate Strategies to encourage adequate nutrition among young persons include the following: Promote participation in USDA food assistance programs e.
Advise parents and guardians about community-based food supplementation programs e. Educate students and their families about the importance of eating breakfast. Iron Deficiency Anemia Iron deficiency anemia is the most common cause of anemia in the United States This deficiency can increase fatigue, shorten attention span, decrease work capacity, reduce resistance to infection, and impair intellectual performance 33, Among school-age youths, female adolescents are at greatest risk for iron deficiency.
To prevent iron deficiency, children and adolescents should eat adequate amounts of foods high in iron and in vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron efficiently The prevalence of overweight among youths ages years in the United States has more than doubled in the past 30 years; most of the increase has occurred since the late s Nutrition education printables are fun activities that encourage learning and discussion about healthy food choices and nutrition.
Kids will learn about the kids food pyramid, healthy eating, nutrition vocabulary, food groups, healthy food combinations, and more. Health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." This definition has been subject to controversy, as it may have limited value for implementation.
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To encourage the adoption of healthy eating habits, this topic explains the usual development of eating habits and how to distinguish common and often temporary eating problems from chronic disorders. educing isks, Promoting Healthy Life he WO RLD HEALTH REPORT WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION.
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