It Can Be Done! Achieving a Healthy School Environment for Students: Quality Physical Education and Healthy Beverage Options

Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators, May-June 2008 | Go to article overview

It Can Be Done! Achieving a Healthy School Environment for Students: Quality Physical Education and Healthy Beverage Options


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Childhood obesity is a major epidemic in this country and changes are not on y wanted, but needed to ensure the healthy future of our children

Overweight and obesity are the result of energy imbalance. That is, too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed.

The prevalence of overweight among children aged 6 to 11 has more than doubled in the past 20 years, going from 7% in 1980 to 18.8% in 2004. The rate among adolescents aged 12 to 19 has more than tripled, increasing from 5% to 17.1% during that same time period.

Overweight and obesity can be influenced by modifiable behaviors, including physical activity and diet.

In 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act which included a provision that required every school district participating in the federal school meals programs (a vast majority of school districts) to implement a wellness policy by the first day of the 2006-2007 school year.

NASPE and ABA Want to Help YOUR SCHOOL Be Healthy

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the American Beverage Association (ABA) are working hard to ensure that America's schoolchildren are learning about the importance of balancing "calories in" with "calories out." We hope our efforts will show schools that meeting wellness policy requirements can be easy, rewarding and most importantly, necessary to provide a healthy school environment that results in healthy students.

The law specifies that the wellness policy must, at a minimum, include goals for physical activity, nutrition education and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness and nutrition guidelines for all foods available on the school campus during the school day.

National Association for Sport and Physical Education

NASPE is the preeminent national authority on physical education and a recognized leader in sport and physical activity. NASPE is a non-profit professional membership association that sets the standard for practice in physical education and sport.

Its 16,000 members include K-12 physical education teachers, coaches, athletic directors, athletic trainers, sport management professionals, researchers, and college/university faculty who prepare physical activity professionals. It is the largest of the five national associations that make up the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).

Components of a Quality Physical Education Program

Opportunity to Learn:

* Instructional periods totaling 150 minutes per week (elementary school) and 225 minutes per week (middle and high schools)

* Certified physical education teacher providing a developmentally appropriate program

* Adequate equipment and facilities

Meaningful Content:

* Instruction in a variety of motor skills that are designed to enhance the physical, mental and social/emotional development of every child

* Fitness education and assessment to help children understand, improve and/or maintain their physical well-being

* Development of cognitive concepts about motor skill and fitness

* Opportunities to improve emerging social and cooperative skills and gain a multicultural perspective

* Promotion of regular participation in physical activity now and throughout life

Appropriate Instruction:

* Full inclusion of all students

* Maximum practice opportunities

* Well-designed lessons that facilitate student learning

* Out-of-school assignments that support learning and practice

* No physical activity for punishment

* Use of regular assessment to monitor and reinforce student learning

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AMERICAN BEVERAGE ASSOCIATION

ABA is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.

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It Can Be Done! Achieving a Healthy School Environment for Students: Quality Physical Education and Healthy Beverage Options
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