CDC - Preventing Chronic Disease: Volume 9, 2012: 11_0106
Evaluation of the Healthy Schools Program: Part I. Interim Progress
Margaret Beam, PhD; Ginny Ehrlich, MPH, MS; Jessica Donze Black, RD, MPH; Audrey Block, MSW, JD; Laura C. Leviton, PhD
Suggested citation for this article: Beam M, Ehrlich G, Donze Black J, Block A, Leviton LC. Evaluation of the Healthy Schools Program: Part I. Interim progress. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110106. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd9.110106.
Federal and state policies identify schools as a setting to prevent childhood obesity, but schools need better health-promoting strategies. The objective of this study was to evaluate interim progress in schools receiving hands-on training from the Healthy Schools Program, the nation’s largest school-based program aimed at preventing childhood obesity. The 4-year program targets schools with predominantly low-income, African American, or Hispanic students.
In 2010 we assessed schools that enrolled in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years. School representatives completed an inventory of 8 content areas: policy and systems, school meals, competitive foods and beverages, health education, physical education, physical activity outside of physical education, before- and after-school programs, and school employee wellness. Schools’ baseline inventory was compared by t test with the most recent inventory available.
Schools made significant changes in all content areas, and effect sizes were moderate to large.
Participating schools improved environmental policies and practices to prevent childhood obesity. The program is a resource to implement recent federal and state policies.