Short Takes On News & Events

CDC Study: Schools Are Getting Healthier

By Marissa Evans

August 27th, 2013, 3:33 PM

Nowadays, the hub for developing healthy habits isn’t just the gym or home. For kids, at least, it’s increasingly their schools, according to a study released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. School districts across the country are demonstrating a range of improvements in terms of nutrition, exercise and tobacco policies.

For instance, after years of efforts to phase out junk food like candy and chips, the percentage of school districts that prohibited such food in vending machines increased from 29.8 percent in 2006 to 43.4 percent in 2012, according to the CDC’s 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study. Also, slightly more than half of school districts – up from about 35 percent in 2000 — made information available to families on the nutrition and caloric content of foods available to students.

“Schools play a critical role in the health and well-being of our youth,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, in the news release. “Good news for students and parents — more students have access to healthy food, better physical fitness activities through initiatives such as ‘Let’s Move,’ and campuses that are completely tobacco free.”

Since 2000, the number of school districts that require elementary schools to teach physical education increased. In addition, the number of districts entering into agreements with local YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs or local parks and recreation departments went up, according to the study.

Meanwhile, the percentage of districts with policies that prohibited all tobacco use during any school-related activity increased from 46.7 percent in 2000 to 67.5 percent in 2012.

The CDC study is a periodic, national survey that examines key components of school health at the state, district, school, and classroom level, including health education; physical education and activity; health services; mental health and social services; nutrition services; healthy and safe school environment; faculty and staff health promotion; and family and community involvement.

4 Responses to “CDC Study: Schools Are Getting Healthier”

  1. Tea party patriot says:

    Reports like this fly in the face of the basic beliefs of the Republican Party. Just like the blatant lies coming from the EPA and liberals about how carbon is ruining our environment and causing global warming, articles like the above have no concrete evidence that soft drinks and junk food and candy and chips have anything to do with health in any way. LIke the EPA, the CDC is just another massive government takeover. Americans have a right to eat whatever we want. We also have a right to allow our school age children to eat whatever they want. If I want my child to drink soft drinks and eat candy and eat potato chips out of a vending machine, that’s entirely my business. Candy and chips and soft drinks have been in our schools for decades and such foods have earned a right to be in our schools as part of our personal freedoms and liberty. Nobody has the right to tell my children what to eat and what to drink. The same is true about tobacco products. There’s no proof that tobacco products affect health. None! The progressive rhetoric about junk food and tobacco products are baltant lies. As a Republican, I am offended that we must be exposed to the lies contained in articles like the above article. Articles like the above are just more liberal attacks on our personal freedoms.

  2. Patriot, no qualifier says:

    Dear Tea Party Patriot, oh, never mind, you are hopeless.

  3. Nancy Kelly says:

    Tea Party Patriot,
    You’re kidding, right?

  4. Rose says:


    Unfortunately, not in Maine, where the Maine Dept. of Ed Consultant specialist for physical education (with a physical education background) was bumped from her position. Where Maine Schools are losing physical education positions. Many schools have reduced their physical education programs (once a week) or teachers have high numbers of students in one day. Maine is a rural State with no YMCA for miles from many communities, home-grown recreation departments typically stick to tradition sports, many discouraging players as they move into middle school. No funding for PE, no funding for before or after school programs.

    I guess I don’t see the health-changes in Maine that is being reported in this article. It’s been a difficult year with very little advocacy in Maine. Little understanding that all this means is greater health care costs….down the road for a generation that is becoming much more inactive.