Schools and early childhood learning centers have been identified as critical partners in the effort to improve opportunities for healthy eating and active living for our children. Schools are where children and youth spend the majority of their waking hours. Our schools cannot achieve their primary mission of education if students are not healthy. Educators have the opportunity to positively impact child health through well-designed, well-implemented school programs that promote healthy behaviors including physical activity and healthy eating.
Obesity is only one of the health risks that affects a student’s ability to learn:
- Good nutrition with regular meals, including breakfast, can improve a child’s ability to concentrate.
- Physical activity can increase concentration and improve behavior.
- Clean air can reduce the days missed for asthma flares.
- A safe learning environment,such as one free of bullying, allows children to build healthy relationships.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) works closely with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to promote safe and supportive learning environments through the Coordinated School Health Program. This CDC-funded program promotes a comprehensive approach to programs, policies and systems change that assist schools to address the whole child, including physical and mental health, academic success and safe and healthy learning environments. Click here to learn more about the CDC’s Coordinated School Health Program.
Visit the Healthy Schools Resources page to learn more about components of a comprehensive school health program and resources available through the Ohio Department of Health.
Last Reviewed 4/10/12