A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention delivered some positive news about our nation’s schools. The School Health Policies and Practices Study found that school districts nationwide are showing health policy improvements in a variety of areas related to health and wellness. Below are some of the findings:Vending: Between 2006 and 2012, the percentage of districts that required schools to provide healthier options in vending machines increased from 29.8 percent to 43.4 percent. Nutritional/Calorie Content: Between 2000 and 2012, the percentage of districts that made information available to families on the nutrition and caloric content of foods available to students increased from 35.3 percent to 52.7 percent. Physical Education: The percentage of school districts that required elementary schools to teach physical education increased from 82.6 percent in 2000 to 93.6 percent in 2012. Partnerships: More than half of school districts (61.6 percent) had a formal agreement, such as a memorandum of agreement or understanding, between the school district and another public or private entity for shared use of school or community property. Among those districts, more than half had agreements with a local youth organization (e.g., the YMCA, Boys or Girls Clubs, or the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts) or a local parks or recreation department.
Our industry has long been committed to the health and wellness of our nation’s children, and our leadership initiatives are having a real impact in schools across the country. For example, with our national School Beverage Guidelines, we voluntarily removed full-calorie sodas from schools and replaced them with more no- and low-calorie options and smaller portion sizes, driving a 90 percent reduction in beverage calories shipped to schools. Further, in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, we placed calorie labels on the front of every can, pack and bottle we produce so that consumers can make the choice that’s right for them.
For more information about the study, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To learn more about all the ways that our industry is innovating and supporting all of its consumers, visit DeliveringChoices.org.