The Plan

The mission of the NC Healthy Weight Initiative is to shape the eating and physical activity patterns of North Carolina children and youth in ways that lead to healthy weight and reduce the risk for chronic disease. The NC Task Force for Healthy Weight in Children and Youth created a comprehensive state plan, Moving Our Children Toward a Healthy Weight - Finding the Will and the Way , that provides recommendations for action to address childhood overweight.

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In support of Eat Smart, Move More...NC

Posted on April 03, 2005

NEW! Eat Smart School Standards Resources

Each downloadable document provides quick and easy tips for schools and communities to use to create healthy eating environments both during and after the school day.

Download PDF document Concessions
Download PDF document Fundraising
Download PDF document Rewards and Incentives
Download PDF document School Celebrations
Download PDF document School Stores
Download PDF document Vending
Download PDF document Compares the Winner's Circle Healthy Dining Program to the Eat Smart School Standards

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Posted on January 24, 2005

Team Nutrition Local Wellness Policy Information

To help combat childhood obesity, Congress passed a law requiring each local educational agency participating in USDA's school meals programs to establish a local wellness policy by the beginning of School Year 2006-2007.

This site serves as a clearinghouse of information on the components that should be considered when establishing a school wellness policy. Examples of policies already developed by schools and State agencies are provided as resources and references.

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Posted on September 20, 2004

In Young Black Girls, Safety Concerns, Lack of Recreation Options Contribute to Weight Problems

CHAPEL HILL—Inadequate recreational facilities and lingering concerns about safety combine to prevent black girls in some U.S. communities from getting enough physical exercise to prevent obesity and promote good health later in life, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study suggests. Preferences for indoor sedentary behaviors such as television viewing over outdoor vigorous activities and lack of motivation to be active also contribute to their weight gain risk.

Read the full article from the UNC School of Public Health about an overweight issue African-American girls are facing.

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Posted on September 08, 2004

School systems fight childhood obesity

Originally published August 25, 2004, Fayetteville Observer

By Amneris Solano
Staff writer

CLEMENT - The apples disappeared faster than the cookies and chips at the Clement Elementary School cafeteria Tuesday.

Clement Elementary School third-grader Dylan Tew spoons peaches onto his tray Tuesday in the school cafeteria. In an effort to promote healthy choices for students, Sampson County schools have cut desserts from cafeteria menus.

Some pupils pushed their trays past the assortment of sugar cookies, cheese curls and brownies with little regard. Few of them chose to buy the treats.

"I already got my own money," said Joshua Mesimer, a 9-year-old third-grader. "I just don't want to have it today." He ate a grilled chicken sandwich, an apple and applesauce and drank 2 percent milk for lunch.

The Sampson County school system stopped offering dessert as part of its lunch menu this school year. Children who want desserts must buy them separately. Whole milk also was eliminated, but reduced-fat and skim milk remain.

April Jordan, the nutrition director for Sampson County schools, said the intention is to promote healthy eating and curb childhood obesity. Twenty- six percent of children in the state ages 12 to 18 are overweight, according to the Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina Web site. Nationwide, the percentage of overweight children doubled during the past two decades and tripled among adolescents, the site says.

Other school systems in the Cape Fear region, including Harnett County, have not offered desserts as part of their lunches for years. Educators hope it will encourage children to eat healthier.

"If I have to buy it, then I might think twice," Jordan said.

Saving money

Clinton City Schools eliminated whole milk this school year, said Jeff Schwartz, child nutrition director for the school system. The school system was able to cut fat from the breakfast and lunch menus as well as save money, Schwartz said, because whole milk is more expensive.

Dessert has never been a regular part of the lunch menu, he said. Once in a while, the school system will serve ice cream or other treats, he said, but fruits are offered for the most part. "We just think students get enough sweets," Schwartz said. "They don't need to have sweets after every meal."

In Harnett County, desserts have not been on the lunch menu for at least 15 years, said Faye Etheridge, the interim child nutrition director for the school system. On occasion the schools serve ice cream to children in the lower grades for birthdays, she said.

The school systems in the region offer low-fat and non-fat chocolate and strawberry milk and other varieties to encourage children to drink healthier, educators said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that children drink 16 percent less milk than in the late 1970s and drink 16 percent more soft drinks.

"It tastes just as good, but it's healthier," said Clement Elementary School Principal Linda Williams.

This year, Harnett County schools started offering chocolate milk in plastic bottles, and that has bolstered milk sales at some schools, Etheridge said.

Fresh start

The best time to introduce menu options, she said, is when school starts. "If it's not there the first day of school," she said, "they don't question it."

Kelly Povroznik, the child nutrition director for Cumberland County schools, said desserts are served on occasion as part of the lunch menu. The schools will sometimes serve a holiday cookie or cake for birthdays or other special occasions. "We don't put desserts on all the time," Povroznik said. "We still do it, but we want to promote healthy choice items."

Alternatives

In Robeson County, desserts continue to appear on the lunch menus, but, educators said, the cafeterias offer low-fat options such as gelatin with fruit. "We try to offer fruit as one of the choices," said Jack Morgan, the child nutrition director for the school system. The system also provides salads at the schools daily, and it has decreased the amount of whole milk it serves.

Instead of dessert, children in Sampson County schools can choose an extra fruit or vegetable. The children don't miss the dessert too much, said Gail Holland, who is the cafeteria manager at Clement Elementary. "They don't mention it," Holland said. "We've got a good group of kids. They are always ready to eat."

Pupils at Clement Elementary on Tuesday had a choice between low-fat pizza or grilled chicken sandwiches for their entree. The side items included mixed vegetables, corn on the cob, apples, peaches and applesauce. Of those side dishes, the pupils could pick three.

Brett Daniels, who is 9 and in the fourth grade at Clement, had strawberry milk, applesauce, peaches, an apple and a grilled chicken sandwich for lunch Tuesday. Brett said she misses the cookies and other treats. "It was sweet," she said.

As a reward for improving her reading, Brett's mother has promised to give her 50 cents to buy dessert, she said. Brett said she has been studying hard so she can get her treat.

North Carolina Healthy Weight Initiative, in support of Eat Smart, Move More...North Carolina

NC Dept. of Health and Human Services, | NC Division of Public Health

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