No. 2, April 2004
SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC HEALTH
ORIGINAL RESEARCH: FEATURED
ABSTRACT FROM THE 18TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHRONIC DISEASE
PREVENTION AND CONTROL
Using CDC’s School Health
Index to Improve the Physical Activity and Nutrition Environments in 15
Michigan Public Schools
L Grost, E Coke-Haller, A Murphy, N Drzal
Suggested citation for this article: Grost L,
Coke-Haller E, Murphy A, Drzal N. Using CDC's School Health Index to improve
the physical activity and nutrition environments in 15 Michigan public
schools [abstract]. Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2004 Apr [date cited].
Available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2004/
The childhood obesity crisis was addressed in Michigan by implementing
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's SHI: School Health Index in 15 schools during the 2002–2003 school
The Michigan departments of education and community health have partnered
to encourage schools to improve their physical activity and nutrition
environments by using the School Health Index. Fifteen Michigan public schools agreed to implement
School Health Index and report
their results during the 2002–2003 school year in return for $1000.
Each school was required to form a Coordinated School Health Team (CSHT),
designate a team leader (on-site coordinator), and work with a trained
School Health Index
implementation facilitator. Facilitators assisted the on-site coordinator
and CSHT through School Health Index implementation.
Evaluation results indicated that using the School Health Index encouraged schools to create
and maintain building-level CSHTs, increased on-site coordinators' familiarity
with physical activity and nutrition policies, and encouraged physical activity and
nutrition promotion activities. Moreover, this process increased staff and
student opportunities to be physically active and, in addition, increased the
number of nutrition learning opportunities during school hours. Despite
these successes, some schools experienced difficulty maintaining their
teams over the year and lacked administrative support.
In summary, the School Health Index is a valuable, free tool for a committed school staff
member or public health agency representative to use in mobilizing a school
to offer more physical activity and nutrition education opportunities and to
serve healthier food.
Corresponding Author: Nicholas Drzal, MPH, RD, Nutrition Education
Consultant, Michigan Department of Education, Office of School Excellence,
608 W Allegan St, PO Box 30008, Lansing, MI 48933. Telephone:
517-335-1730. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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