Sixteen Nebraska schools are being honored for their efforts to reduce childhood obesity.
Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, says a total of 275 schools nationwide are being recognized for transforming their campuses into healthier places.
“They have changed their school meals, their school stores,” Ehrlich says. “They’ve provided more physical education and health education. They have added more physical activity opportunties before, during and after school for both students and staff. They’ve worked with their staff to become trusty role models and healthy role models for students.”
She says each school has distinguished itself with healthy eating and physical activity programs and policies based on stringent standards set by the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program.
“This effort is so important because we know that nearly one in three young people is already overweight or obese across this country,” Ehrlich says. “We have an epidemic on our hands and we know that schools are where young people spend often half their waking hours. It’s an important setting to establish healthy messages and to establish healthy habits.”
She singles out Emerson Elementary School in Kearney where the BMI, or body mass index, for the students has dropped 17% in recent years.
“They’ve added an after-school running club,” Ehrlich says. “They’ve made fruits and vegetables available throughout the school day and as daily snacks. They have transformed the school store into healthier venues where only healthy snacks are available and their revenues in the school store has actually increased.”
The other Nebraska schools being honored are: Sandy Creek Elementary at Clay Center, Norris High School, Norris Elementary School, Kenwood Elementary School, Horizon Middle School, Northeast Elementary School, Bryan Elementary School, Lakeview Elementary School, Goodrich Middle School, Morley Elementary School, West Lincoln Elementary School, Hazel Scott Middle School, Plattsmouth High School, S-E-M Elementary School at Sumner, S-E-M Public High School at Sumner.
To learn more, visit: www.HealthierGeneration.org