School Health Improving, But More To Do

A new report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that U.S. schools are getting better about promoting healthy eating. But improvements are still needed.

“Since the release of the previous SHPPS (School Health Policies and Programs Study) in 2000, America’s schools have made significant progress in removing junk food, offering more physical activity opportunities, and establishing policies that prohibit tobacco use,” CDC Director Dr. Julie L. Gerberding said.

But speaking for those of us who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, we had vending machines, and I know our school lunches weren’t all that nutritious. The only difference I can see is we were more active. We had recess and gym class. And then when we got home (after homework), we played in the yard.

It’s great to improve the food, but it seems that the sedentary lives kids are leading these days is the most troubling thing of all. While the report says the number of schools prohibiting junk food in vending machines has risen from eight percent to 32 percent since 2000, only four percent of elementary schools, eight percent of middle schools and two percent of high schools provided daily physical education for the entire year.

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