Implementing School-Based Policies to Prevent Obesity: Cluster Randomized Trial

  • February 15, 2019

Healthy school environments and wellness policies are often included as crucial components of a successful meal program and healthier students. A recent three-year study by social and behavioral scientists at Yale University explored the direct correlation between healthy school environments and wellness policies and student health. The study found that students at schools that randomly received support for nutrition policy implementation had lower BMI's. Students at the schools that received the additional support reported a BMI increase of <1%, compared to those that did not receive the additional support at a 3-4% increase. 

The study looked at 600 middle school students from New Haven, CT. The additional support for nutrition implementation included nutrition newsletters; making sure school-based meals met federal nutrition guidelines; limiting sugary drinks and encouraging water consumption; and limiting use of food or drink as rewards for good grades and behavior. To learn more about implementing these types of initiatives in your district check out our Wellness Policy and Smart Snacks resource page here

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