NEW FEDERAL STUDY
CALORIES IN, CALORIES OUT: FOOD AND EXERCISE IN PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS,
The rate of obesity among school-age children has become a national concern,
with the number of overweight children aged 6 to 11 more than tripling over
the past three decades (U.S. Government Accountability Office 2005). One way
to address this health issue in schools is to emphasize an "energy balance"
approach-calories consumed versus calories expended-to support healthy eating
and an active lifestyle. This report is based on a survey conducted by the
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the Institute of Education
Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. It presents current national
information for public elementary schools on the availability of foods outside
school meals, the opportunities for students to engage in physical activity,
and the physical assessment of students.
Availability of Foods Outside of Full School Meals
Most public elementary schools (94 percent) offered foods for sale outside of
full school meals, and of these schools, 36 percent reported that foods were
sold to generate funds to support food service operations at the school or
district (_figure 2_ (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/nutrition/figures/fig2.asp)
and _table 2_ (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/nutrition/tables/tab2.asp) ).
Schools with any cafeteria or lunchroom food services indicated whether each of
15 foods was offered for sale outside of full school meals. Schools also
reported the availability of nine of the listed foods (i.e., nondairy beverages
and snack foods) at vending machines and school stores or snack bars, and the
times when foods were available.
FOR FULL REPORT, SEE _http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/nutrition/_