New Study Shows Combatting Childhood Obesity In Schools Is Working

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

obesityResearch Finds the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program Reduces Prevalence of Childhood Obesity.

According to a recently published study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, schools can win the fight against childhood obesity. The study found that the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program is an important means of supporting schools in reducing students’ rates of obesity.

Effect of the Healthy Schools Program on Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in California Schools, 2006 – 2012, is the first peer-reviewed journal article published about the Healthy Schools Program’s impact on child obesity rates.

An analysis of 281 schools in California that participated in the Program from 2006-2012 concludes that the Program is “an effective model for addressing childhood obesity among engaged schools,” and that meaningful participation in the Program is linked to reductions in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among students in high-need schools.

Ten years ago, the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association founded the Alliance for a Healthier Generation with the goal of reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity, and this study confirms the organization is delivering on its mission and that healthy school environments are having an effect on student weight.

“It’s encouraging to see the proven positive impact of the Healthy Schools Program on childhood obesity. Over the past ten years, the Alliance involved all stakeholders ‒ schools, companies, communities, healthcare professionals and families. The combination of commitment and cooperation has made the difference,” said President Bill Clinton.

kidsexercisevector“This study is evidence of our 2005 dream realized. While we know we have much more work to do to reverse the tide of obesity, we’re showing signs of success through the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.

The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program, which was launched in 2006 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides schools with a framework, assessment and action plan, as well as virtual and onsite training and technical assistance and access to national experts to help them create sustainable healthy change. While the study looked at schools in California, the Program serves more than 29,000 schools nationally, the majority of which are high-need ‒ 40% or more of a school’s students receive free or reduced price lunch.

The study demonstrates the power of providing high-quality training and technical assistance to help schools make policy and system changes that improve children’s access to healthy foods and physical activity. The more that schools engaged with the Healthy Schools Program, and the longer they engaged, the greater reductions they saw in student rates of obesity. For example, for each additional year of exposure to an Alliance national advisor, schools saw a nearly 2% decline in student rates of overweight and obesity.

“Healthy school environments are critical to ensuring that every child grows up at a healthy weight and to RWJF’s goal of building a nationwide Culture of Health,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “This study reinforces the critical role that the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program can play in making a healthy school the norm and not the exception in the United States. We are proud of our commitment to initiate and expand the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program over the past decade, and we look forward to continued progress in our joint efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.”

“We’re pleased the findings confirm that the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program is delivering on our mission: to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “Reaching more than 17 million students across the country and growing, we will continue to positively impact children’s health on a national scale.”

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. Through our Healthy Schools Program, we help to build healthier school environments for more than 17 million students by improving physical education, health education, child nutrition, and staff wellness policies and programs in more than 29,000 schools. Learn more and join the movement at http://www.healthiergeneration.org.

About the Clinton Foundation
The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, more than 29,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 85,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; more than 33,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced annually across the United States; over 350,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, 9.9 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; 75 million people are benefiting from disease prevention efforts and investments in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association (AHA) is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke—America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. The American Heart Association team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of the offices around the country.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. The Foundation strives to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit http://www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at http://www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at http://www.rwjf.org/facebook.

Everlast Climbing Helps Schools Raise Needed Physical Education Funds

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newsEverlast Climbing proudly releases How to Fund Your Climbing Wall: A Comprehensive Guide of Funding Opportunities, Ideas & Resources in an effort to help K-12 schools overcome funding obstacles and acquire a climbing wall.

Since 1991, Everlast Climbing has worked with schools in all 50 states as they enhance their physical education curricula with the addition of rock climbing. Climbing is a far-reaching sport that offers many benefits to youth of varied interests, abilities and fitness levels. Unfortunately, schools often struggle with how to fund a climbing wall.

According to the National Association for Sports and Physical Education, the median physical education budget for schools in the United States is only $764 per school year. This is not nearly enough to cover the expense of a climbing wall, which is in excess of $4,000, including mats and installation. Physical educators often need to secure outside funding in order to purchase a climbing wall. To assist in this challenging task, Everlast Climbing developed How to Fund Your Climbing Wall: A Comprehensive Guide of Funding Opportunities, Ideas & Resources.

“Rock climbing is a great addition to high-quality physical education programs because it addresses all three learning domains—physical, cognitive and emotional. Climbing improves fitness, utilizes problem solving and develops a variety of social-emotional traits like courage and perseverance. And it’s attractive to a wide range of youth, even those who are not typically interested in physical activity,” says Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing. “Funding is the biggest challenge schools face when they look into getting a climbing wall. It is our hope that the funding guide will enable more students to benefit from having a climbing wall as part of their physical education program.”

The digital resource helps educators identify critical sources of funding for programs and equipment. Customized for each state and the District of Columbia, the Funding Guide includes lists and information about current national and state-level grants available to schools. Also included are ways to raise funds beyond applying for grants, such as through crowdfunding, sales, restaurant fundraising, do-it-yourself school fundraising and partnerships. Additionally, the guide includes success stories and many resources to support fundraising initiatives.

How to Fund Your Climbing Wall: A comprehensive Guide of Funding Opportunities, Ideas & Resources is available for free download on Everlast Climbing’s website: http://www.everlastclimbing.com.

About Everlast Climbing

Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at http://www.everlastclimbing.com.

Everlast Climbing Advocates For Quality Physical Education In Schools

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The article is courtesy of PRWeb and Everlast Climbing. Please share your comments below…..

groupkidswbgFor the sixth consecutive year, Everlast Climbing participated in the annual National Health Through Fitness Day to urge Congress to pass key legislation to “Get America Moving to Improve Health.”

Everlast Climbing and PlayCore were two of more than 40 corporate sponsors of the March 4 event that was organized by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. Approximately 150 leaders from the sports, fitness and physical education industries met with Congress to discuss the importance of federal funding to support quality physical education in schools and to encourage more physical activity for families. Primarily, Congress was asked to approve the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) in Fiscal Year 2015. This program provides the only dedicated federal money to school districts and community-based organizations for physical education and innovative physical activity methods.

In attendance from Everlast Climbing was Jeremiah Neville, Director of Outside Sales. He held meetings with representatives from congressional districts including Ohio, Idaho, Minnesota and Texas. “I feel confident that we succeeded in bringing the message about the importance of physical activity and the need to ‘Get America Moving’ to the attention of legislators,” remarked Neville. “It was very exciting to be involved in the democratic process.”

According to the 2014 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children & Youth, “only one quarter of children and youth in the U. S. are meeting physical activity guidelines.” Also, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than 50% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity. PEP helps to educate youth about the benefits of being physically fit and sets them on a course towards lifelong fitness.

“We really look forward to National Health Through Fitness Day. It’s an honor to be part of the event and to advocate for youth fitness is such a significant way,” said Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing.

Public Schools Screen Students For Childhood Obesity Using BMI

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obeseboyvectorbellyFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very interesting article from a local ABC/FOX channel entitled Public Schools Screen Students for Childhood Obesity using BMI out of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires public schools to screen each student for their BMI in 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th grade. Then all parents are sent a letter with the results. Last year in West Springfield over 33% of students in any of these grades was considered overweight or obese. Of course, this has been a sensitive issue in many parts of the United States, where parents do not want the schools to test their children due to the embarrassment of the situation or lack of sensitivity to the children. Once it has become a routine in many areas, the controversy has lessened to a point where students are not feeling uncomfortable with it, and testing is completed in a non-embarrassing manner. BMI, or Body Mass Index estimates the ideal weight of a person based on its size and weight. The Body mass index is valid for an adult man or woman (18 to 65 years). A high BMI is associated with increased risk of death. The risk of death increases with a high overweight for both men and women (cancer or other diseases) . The factor increases if the person smokes. What is your opinion on this issue? Use the comments section below to share your thoughts, and please visit the ABC/FOX web site (listed below) to read the complete article.”

Want to know your BMI?

From the article…..

Childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the last 30 years. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Body Mass Index or BMI, is used to determine obesity rates in public schools across the state.

It’s a regulation that has been in place for 5 years. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires public schools to screen each student for their BMI in 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th grade. Then all parents are sent a letter with the results. Last year in West Springfield over 33% of students in any of these grades was considered overweight or obese. But according to West Springfield Superintendent Russell Johnston, the regulation does help.

“It helps to just communicate to parents two important things. Here are the results and if you have any concerns about this we encourage you to speak with your pediatrician or your child’s nurse to follow up because this is just one indication of your child’s weight,” Johnston said.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Oregon’s PE Push

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boygirlplayFrom Your Health Journal…..A great article by Susan Nielsen in the Oregonian entitled Oregon’s big plan for PE greatness takes a back seat. In 2007, concerned over childhood obesity, Oregon wanted to become a national leader in physical education. Oregon’s lack of progress on its ambitious PE goals, evident in new state data, is one more sign of the widening gap between the state’s aspirations and its capacity to deliver on them. But, everything seemed to stall, and PE did not get’s it due. The average elementary-school student in Oregon got only about 70 minutes of PE a week last school year, or less than 15 minutes a day, less than the state mandate of 150 weekly minutes for their age group. Middle schoolers fared better at about 144 minutes per week on average, but fell short of the future 225-minute weekly mandate for students their age. Sadly, instead of increasing PE time, many district cut it out of the curriculum. This was a very interesting article, and I wanted to share it with all of you and promote it here. Please visit the Oregonian web site (link provided below) to view the complete article.”

From the article…..

In 2007, driven by concerns over childhood obesity, Oregon vowed to become a national leader in physical education. The apparent plan to meet that goal is to run furiously in place.

Oregon’s lack of progress on its ambitious PE goals, evident in new state data, is one more sign of the widening gap between the state’s aspirations and its capacity to deliver on them.

“The failure to move the dial on PE,” says Otto Schell, legislative advocate for the Oregon PTA, “is symptomatic of a lot of things.”

The Legislature passed a sweeping PE law in 2007 that would, by 2017, require K-8 students to dramatically increase their time spent exercising at school. Though the mandate came with minimal money attached, the rationale was that with a decade’s notice, school districts could hire the PE teachers, find the indoor exercise space and get students moving.

The idea sounded great by itself, says Mark Mulvihill, a superintendent from eastern Oregon who sits on the state education investment board. The trouble at the local level comes when new ideas join a growing pile of other big ideas without clear plans to implement or pay for them.

Today, school districts squeezed by inadequate funding and rising pension costs have made no progress toward their deadline. According to data finalized last week by the Oregon Department of Education, the average elementary-school student in Oregon got only about 70 minutes of PE a week last school year, or less than 15 minutes a day. That’s less than half the coming state mandate of 150 weekly minutes for their age group.

Middle schoolers fared better at about 144 minutes per week on average, but they still fell short of the future 225-minute weekly mandate for students their age.

Quantity of PE isn’t the only problem. So is quality, says the state in its latest PE progress report. Many districts have cut PE teachers from their elementary schools, requiring regular classroom teachers to teach PE (to large classes, along with their other duties) without the needed equipment or training.

To read the complete article…..Click here

First Lady Sees ‘Movement’ In Childhood Obesity

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boygirlplayvectorFrom Your Health Journal…..”I wanted to share a story from ABC News Radio KMBZ by Ida Mae Astute, entitled First Lady Sees ‘Movement’ in Improving Childhood Obesity. Mrs. Obama is celebrating the third anniversary of her Let’s Move project, and the strides made in fighting childhood obesity. She feels that she has brought attention to childhood obesity in our country, as kids are getting more exercise and eating healthier. She even mentioned how childhood obesity is coming down like never before. Mrs. Obama said she will announce a new initiative called the “My Plate Recipe Partnership,” which will provide families with online access to healthy recipes that meet the My Plate guidelines, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s replacement of the food pyramid. I feel Mrs. Obama is bringing attention to an important need in our country, and helping to educate families on healthy lifestyle. It is great to have her in the media preaching this initiative. Please visit the ABC web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

As she celebrates the third anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative, first lady Michelle Obama told ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts that the country is seeing real “movement” on the issue of childhood obesity.

“We’ve really changed the conversation in this country. When we started, there were a lot of people in this country who would have never thought that childhood obesity was a health crisis. But now we’re starting to see some movement on this issue,” the first lady told Roberts. “Our kids are eating better at school. They’re moving more. And we’re starting…to see a change in the trends. We’re starting to see rates of obesity coming down like never before.”

“What we’re seeing is that there’s hope, and when a nation comes together, and everyone is thinking about this issue and trying to figure out what role they can play, then we can see changes,” she said.

Mrs. Obama is set to embark on a star-studded national tour this week to promote and celebrate her Let’s Move! initiative. Her first stop will be in Clinton, Miss., on Wednesday, as she appears at an event highlighting healthy school lunches with Rachael Ray.

“I’m going back to Mississippi because when I first went there, Mississippi was considered one of the most unhealthy states in the nation,” Mrs. Obama said.

“If we could fry water in Mississippi, we would, we would do that,” Roberts, who grew up in Pass Christian, Miss., said. “Food is a culture.”

“But the good news in Mississippi is that they’ve seen a decline in childhood obesity of 13 percent, so we’re gonna go celebrate and highlight what has been going on there. There’s still work to do,” the first lady said.

To read the full article…..Click here

Schools Don’t Sacrifice Academics For Athletics

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vectorboysoccerFrom Your Health Journal…..”I have not promoted the Education Week web site in a while, as it is one of my favorite web sites. Recently, I found an article by Bryan Toporek called Schools Don’t Sacrifice Academics For Athletics. So many times here, we have discussed the correlation between physical activity and cognitive skills. In fact, I 100% believe that children who regularly participate in sport and fitness (as well as physical education) benefit academically. Related to this, academic and athletic success may actually be correlated. The authors of a recent study found that schools which emphasize athletic success and participation also tended to have higher scores on standardized tests and higher graduation rates. The authors of the study call for further research into determining whether there is a causal relationship between athletic and academic success. Still, they’re confident enough to say, based on their findings, that winning on the field and winning in the classroom tend to go hand in hand. Please visit and support the Education Week web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

High schools that succeed athletically are not necessarily punting on their academic success, according to an analysis published recently in the Journal of Research in Education.

As it turns out, academic and athletic success may actually be correlated. The authors found that schools which emphasize athletic success and participation also tended to have higher scores on standardized tests and higher graduation rates.

The authors, Jay P. Greene, the head of the department of education reform at the University of Arkansas, and Daniel H. Bowen, a distinguished doctoral fellow of education policy at the university, set out to investigate the link between athletic success and academic success in Ohio high schools.

They weren’t initially sure what they’d find. In the introduction of the analysis, the authors theorize that “producing success in one arena” (athletics) might cause a reduced “investment in success in another” (academics). However, they also suggest “the potential for synergies in education,” with athletics being able to teach students skills such as self-discipline.

As it turns out, the latter theory appears to be more on target.

The authors examined data from 657 public high schools in Ohio over a five-year span and found that “a school’s commitment to athletics is positively related to academic success,” according to the analysis. A 10 percentage point increase in a school’s overall winning percentage was associated with a 1.3 percentage point increase in an estimate of its high school graduation rate.

Football produced the largest impact of any sport, but each sport analyzed “independently produces a positive, significant effect,” the authors found.

The number of sports that each high school offers also appeared to have an effect on academic success. The estimated graduation rate of a high school rose by 0.3 percentage points for every new sport added.

Athletic success also appeared to be correlated with academic proficiency. Increasing a school’s overall winning percentage by 10 percentage points was associated with a 0.25 percentage point increase in the number of students achieving academic proficiency or better. Adding one sport increased the number of students reaching academic proficiency by 0.2 of a percentage point, the authors found.

To read the full article…..Click here

New Food Rules At Schools

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chubbykideatingFrom Your Health Journal…..”I recently found an interesting article by Mary Clare Jalonick that appeared on the Today Show web site via The Associated Press. The article is entitled New rules aim to get rid of junk foods in schools. Childhood obesity is rising all over the world, as so many children now show signs for heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, weaker joints, and other chronic health conditions. On top of this, many of these obese or overweight children have low self esteem, get picked on at school, and have a hard time performing daily tasks like climbing up steps. Physical education classes are being reduced, as well as recreation programs. School lunches in the past have been high in fat / calories, and highly processed. Many children even have access to vending machines at school with unhealthy choices. But, for the first time, the government is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are more healthful. Foods like fatty chips, snack cakes, nachos and mozzarella sticks would be taken out of lunch lines and vending machines. In their place would be foods like baked chips, trail mix, diet sodas, lower-calorie sports drinks and low-fat hamburgers. The new rules are the latest in a long list of changes designed to make foods served in schools more healthful and accessible. Nutritional guidelines for the subsidized lunches were revised last year and put in place last fall. The 2010 child nutrition law also provided more money for schools to serve free and reduced-cost lunches and required more meals to be served to hungry kids. Please support the Today.com web site by reading the complete article (link provided below), as this is information most parents should understand.”

From the article…..

Most candy, high-calorie drinks and greasy meals could soon be on a food blacklist in the nation’s schools.

For the first time, the government is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are more healthful.

Under the new rules the Agriculture Department proposed Friday, foods like fatty chips, snack cakes, nachos and mozzarella sticks would be taken out of lunch lines and vending machines. In their place would be foods like baked chips, trail mix, diet sodas, lower-calorie sports drinks and low-fat hamburgers.

The rules, required under a child nutrition law passed by Congress in 2010, are part of the government’s effort to combat childhood obesity. While many schools already have improved their lunch menus and vending machine choices, others still are selling high-fat, high-calorie foods.

Under the proposal, the Agriculture Department would set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on almost all foods sold in schools. Current standards already regulate the nutritional content of school breakfasts and lunches that are subsidized by the federal government, but most lunchrooms also have “a la carte” lines that sell other foods. Food sold through vending machines and in other ways outside the lunchroom has never before been federally regulated.

“Parents and teachers work hard to instill healthy eating habits in our kids, and these efforts should be supported when kids walk through the schoolhouse door,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

Most snacks sold in school would have to have less than 200 calories. Elementary and middle schools could sell only water, low-fat milk or 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice. High schools could sell some sports drinks, diet sodas and iced teas, but the calories would be limited. Drinks would be limited to 12-ounce portions in middle schools and to 8-ounce portions in elementary schools.

To read the full article…..Click here

Study Suggests Best Ways For Schools To Promote Physical Activity

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kidsunningtogetherFrom Your Health Journal…..”Education Week is one of my favorite web site, full of informative articles that really educate readers. Recently, I found an article on their site written by Bryan Toporek called Study Suggests Best Ways For Schools To Promote Physical Activity. Three things we do not see children participate in like they did 20 years ago are mandatory physical education, classroom activity breaks, and active commuting to school – as a recent study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine supports. Physical education is being cut in many states, as children are getting minimum amounts of physical activity each school day. Curriculum’s are pushing excess work, and children get very little down time. And….the number of children who walk to school has been cut down significantly. In many homes, parents are working late hours, and get home around dinner, so children even get less physical activity time after school hours. So, changes are needed to help children become more active and eat more nutritiously. Please visit the Education Week web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Mandatory physical education, classroom activity breaks, and active commuting to school are the most effective ways schools can promote physical activity in students, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine earlier this month.

The study authors determined which policy changes in schools could have the greatest effect on students’ physical activity levels by examining 65 original investigations published between 1995 and 2011. Each of the 65 articles in the review objectively measured students’ physical activity through the use of accelerometers, heart rate monitors, pedometers, and direct observation. Studies that relied solely on students self-reporting their physical activity were not included due to unreliability.

The authors then estimated how much energy students expended by using the “primary physical activity outcome variable” in each of the articles in the review, such as pedometer steps, percentage of classroom time spent in physical activity, or minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).

They found that schools implementing mandatory physical education classes could help students engage in up to 23 minutes of MVPA each school day, the highest of any activity reviewed in the study. Classroom activity breaks could add up to 19 minutes of MVPA per day and active commuting (walking or biking) to school could result in 16 minutes of MVPA, the authors found.

Combining required daily physical education classes, classroom activity breaks and active commuting to school could result in up to 58 minutes of MVPA per day for students, the study found. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that children engage in at least 60 minutes of MVPA on a daily basis.

“This study shows that policymakers have a lot of tools at their disposal to help kids be active,” said lead study author David R. Bassett, a professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in a statement. “But it also shows that no change alone will be enough. Helping young people reach activity goals will require a combination of strategies.”

To read the full article…..Click here

Keep Recess

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From Your Health Journal…..”NBC usually posts some great stories about children’s health and fitness, and today’s review from NBC is about keeping recess in school. As childhood obesity rises, and children show risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, recess and physical education programs are being cut over and over – contributing to children gaining weight. I have been involved the children’s health and fitness field for over 30 years, and I have seen so much ‘negative’ change in weight and attitude towards physical activity. Technology has overtaken physical activity, and children are eating more junk food. Recess is such a key component to the health and welfare of a child – – not to mention it enhances cognitive activity in children. This article also states that 77 percent of nearly 2,000 principals surveyed in a 2009 Gallup poll on recess, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, reported withholding recess from children as punishment. So, the bottom line, support your local PE and recess at school, for contributing to a healthier child. Please visit the NBC site (listed below) for the full story.”

From the article…..

Daily recess, it seems, is going the way of the dinosaurs – but it shouldn’t, the nation’s pediatricians say.

As more and more grade schools drop this time-honored break from their schedules, members of the American Academy of Pediatrics are speaking out in hopes of reversing the trend, pointing to recess’s benefits to both learning and health.

In a position statement released Monday in the journal Pediatrics, the AAP laid out the scientific evidence showing that kids need daily recess to keep them mentally sharp and physically healthy.

“Every school needs to find a way for recess to happen for every child,” says the paper’s co-author Catherine Ramstetter, a health educator at The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Cincinnati. “And it shouldn’t be something that is taken away because a kid forgot to bring his homework.”

Yet 77 percent of nearly 2,000 principals surveyed in a 2009 Gallup poll on recess, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, reported withholding recess from children as punishment. The Gallup report, called “The State of Play,” also noted that one in four elementary schools no longer provides recess to all grades.

Unfortunately, Ramstetter says, recess has been an easy target for school administrators who are afraid of lawsuits over playground accidents and who feel pressured to improve academic performance by adding more instruction time. That approach is just wrong-headed, she says.

“We hope to encourage parents to make the case that recess helps with education,” Ramstetter says. “Research shows that children who take a break are more ready to be learning.”

In fact, studies have shown that kids are more attentive and productive when they get a break from academics, Ramstetter notes. And while some educators would like to believe that moving from math class to reading constitutes a break, Ramstetter says, “shifting from numbers to words isn’t enough. That’s just a shift in the kind of demands.”

The downtime recess provides gives kids’ brains a rest and also a chance to think more creatively, Ramstetter says. And for antsy kids, recess can be a time to blow off steam, allowing them to focus better when classes resume.

To read the full article…..Click here