Nutrition and exercise play an essential role in health and development. Due to the increasing rates of childhood obesity, diabetes, and other risk factors affecting the health of our nation, healthy lifestyles must begin early in childhood.
The Board recognizes that a proactive, preventative, and comprehensive wellness policy is essential for student success and staff support. Therefore, it is the policy of the Hall County Schools to promote the following:
- A planned, sequential K-12 curriculum that addresses comprehensive health education.
- For schools to provide nutritionally-sound food choices in the lunch, breakfast, after-school snack, and vending programs as well as to be in compliance with the Department of Agriculture.
- Reimbursable school meals that conform to regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the Child Nutrition Act and the Richard B. Russel National School Lunch Act as it applies to schools.
- Physical education programs that promote activity appropriate for the age and development level of the child.
- A smoke and drug-free environment.
- Classroom management and promotions that eliminate food as a reward.
- Programs to promote life-long health and wellness practices.
Alliance For A Healthier Generation
Many Hall County Schools are participating in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. It provides a framework of criteria focused on improving the health of students and decreasing the prevalence of childhood obesity by coordinating efforts among parents, school staff, and students. The program targets various health related policies and procedures in schools, such as employee and student wellness, physical and health education, and of course school nutrition.
The program also has three tiers: bronze, silver, and gold. As schools progress toward “Gold Status” they adopt increasingly stringent health policies that build upon the previous tiers.
The following are some of the criteria that must be met at each level:
Half of all grains at breakfast and lunch must be whole grains
A different fruit is served every day for lunch
Offer at least 5 different, non-fried fruits or vegetables every day at lunch
Conduct annual taste tests with students
All salad dressings must contain less than 80 calories per serving,
and servings must be portion controlled
Offer non-fried fish at least once each week
Schools offer no dessert, or only Alliance approved desserts
ALL grains offered at lunch and breakfast are whole grains
Absolutely no fried products are offered for school meals
Starchy vegetables (corn, potatoes, and green peas) are limited to
one cup per week
Schools offer at least one low-fat entrée daily
(less than 12g total fat, and 4.5g saturated fat)
Schools only offer lean protein products
(less than 10g total fat and 4.5g saturated fat)
for more information about the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, visit thier website at: https://www.healthiergeneration.org/
Impact of School Breakfast on Children's Health and Learning
A study funded by the Sodexho Foundation reviewed the findings of two decades of scientific research that assessed the value of school breakfast programs.
- The School Breakfast Program significantly improves the cognitive abilities and learning capacities of children.
- SBP is associated with improved attendance and reduced tardiness.
- Eating breakfast improves concentration and alertness of students because they have more energy. Eating complex carbohydrate cereals led to improved mental performance throughout the morning.
- Students who receive school breakfast perform better academically compared to those who do not receive school breakfast.
- Eating breakfast improves blood glucose levels of children, which improves their comprehension and memory
- Participating in the SBP has been shown to build healthier eating habits among children.
NPR issued this story on Morning Edition on February 26, 2009. Visit their website (or click the link above) to see how exercise can be incorporated into lessons taught in the classroom.
Some examples were:
- Jumping rope while practicing multiplication tables.
- Reciting poetry while walking in circles in the classroom.
Some studies have shown that incorporating movement into the classroom improves student focus and attention.
Candy, Soda Ban gets high marks for Preventing Obesity -
Pediatrics, Vol. 121, April 2008 (www.pediatrics.org)
- A Policy-Based School Intervention to Prevent Overweight and Obesity.
- Authors: Foster, GD., et al.
- Summary: This research study evaluated the effect of a 2-year school-based nutrition policy program that involved nutrition education, family outreach, and social marketing. Schools in this study replaced unhealthful snacks and beverages with healthier options.
- Soda was replaced with water, 100% fruit juice, and low-fat milk; snacks were capped at 7g fat, 2g saturated fat, and 15g sugar per serving, and candy was removed from school campuses.
- In addition, the intervention provided nutrition education for teachers and students, and prizes for students who ate healthful snacks and beverages. After two years, significantly fewer children became overweight.
Want to learn more about student wellness? Visit the following websites:
Center for Science in the Public Interest
www.nutritionpolicy/nana.html is a site that focuses on nutrition policy.
is a site that contains model school wellness policies that were developed by the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA)
To access their special report on school wellness click here.
www.aahperd.org/Naspe/ is a site that focuses on improving and supporting high quality physical education, sport, and physical activity.
PLAY is a policy research initiative of the GSU Institute of Public Health in partnership with GCORD of UGA and MCG.
- At this site, you can access policy related information that addresses childhood obesity and physical activity.
- Find information concerning general school health policies as well as how to promote healthy school environments, healthy eating, and physical activity.
- Learn about the role of USDA in local wellness policy development.
Childhood Obesity Information & Statistics