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School Health Guidelines

Schools play a critical role in improving the dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents. Schools can create environments that are supportive of healthy eating and physical activity by implementing policies and practices. Providing students with learning opportunities that support healthy eating and regular physical activity is also important for students to learn about and practice these behaviors.  

CDC synthesized research and best practices related to promoting healthy eating and physical activity in schools, culminating in nine guidelines. These guidelines were informed by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,1 the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,2 and the Healthy People 2020 objectives related to healthy eating and physical activity among children, adolescents, and schools.3 The guidelines serve as the foundation for developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices for students.

Related Guidelines

cover of Tips for Teachers PDF Tips for Teachers [PDF - 3.57 MB]
Tips and resources for teachers to promote healthy eating and physical activity in the classroom

2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans 
Science-based recommendations to help persons aged 2 years or older implement good dietary habits that can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
Science-based recommendations to help persons aged 6 years or older improve their health through physical activity

Healthy People 2020 Topics and Objectives
Science-based, 10-year objectives for improving the health of Americans

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