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CDC scientists conducted an extensive search for scientific reports, using five electronic citation databases: Medline, Cinahl, Sports Discus, Psych Info, and ERIC.The coordinated school health approach was used to organize the literature search results for school-based nutrition and physical activity as they related to a healthy and safe school environment; nutrition services; physical education and school-based physical activity; health education; health services and counseling, psychological and social services; family and community involvement; and health promotion for staff members.This report describes school health guidelines for promoting healthy eating and physical activity, including coordination of school policies and practices; supportive environments; school nutrition services; physical education and physical activity programs; health education; health, mental health, and social services; family and community involvement; school employee wellness; and professional development for school staff members.These guidelines, developed in collaboration with specialists from universities and from national, federal, state, local, and voluntary agencies and organizations, are based on an in-depth review of research, theory, and best practices in healthy eating and physical activity promotion in school health, public health, and education.Each of these sectors has an important, independent role to play in improving the dietary and physical activity behaviors of young persons.Schools play a particularly critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors.For reports describing evaluation studies, CDC scientists identified and documented the sample size, demographic makeup of study participants, duration of study, method of group assignment (e.g., random, quasiexperimental, or single group); length of follow-up after baseline measures; and outcomes of the study, such as impact on participant knowledge, attitude, behavior, or health status.
A total of 6,213 abstracts were screened to identify full scientific reports to be retrieved.The primary audience for this report includes state and local education and health agencies, federal agencies, and national nongovernmental organizations that focus on the health of students in school.Agencies can use these guidelines to establish professional development materials, programs, and resources for partners and constituents.A total of 1,325 full scientific reports and expert statements were retrieved and reviewed for consideration in the guidelines.A team of four CDC scientists used a database to record descriptions of each of the 1,325 scientific reports and expert statements, including health topics (e.g., nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention); component of the coordinated school health framework (e.g., physical education and health education); setting of the intervention (e.g., school, district, and community or county level); geographic location; age, sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and health condition of participants; and topic of the report (e.g., policy and curricula).
Poor diet and physical inactivity among younger persons can lead to an increased risk for certain chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity (1). Engaging children and adolescents in healthy eating and regular physical activity can lower their risk for obesity and related chronic diseases (7,8).