Infographic: Evidence-based Strategies for School Nutrition and Physical Activity

Banner Image - Transforming Evidence Into Action: A Collection of Strategies for School Nutrition and Physical Activity

Schools can create supportive environments for eating healthy and being physically active by teaching students about healthy behaviors, modeling those behaviors, and giving them opportunities to practice these behaviors. This review highlights evidence-based nutrition and physical activity strategies to advance health equity for all students in all schools.

This review focused on school-based PA and nutrition programs across the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model that promote positive health behaviors, positive health and educational outcomes, and greater academic achievement.

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Included over 300 articles in systematic reviews.


Published 10 articles in the Journal of School Health.

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Articles reviewed were published between 2010-2021.

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Analysis included student and staff nutrition and physical activity knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors as outcomes.

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Coordinated and multicomponent approaches that involve 2 or more WSCC components


Yoga and mindfulness practices in the classroom


School-level policies for physical education, physical activity, and recess


Physical environment changes to promote physical activity, prosocial play, and healthy diets


Nutrition standards for school meals, taste tests, pre-sliced fruit, and recess before lunch


Hands-on, skills-based, and interactive health education


Professional development on skills, materials, curricula, or instructional practices to adopt the effective strategies


Physical activity and nutrition standards for out-of-school time programs

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Based on our review, more evidence is needed to learn about the barriers to cultivating a healthy school environment for all and the strategies to overcome those barriers for students and staff who:

are in communities with limited resources.
are affected by systemic inequities.
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have less access to physical activity and nutrition programs and services.

To access the Journal of School Health Special Issue, visit