LITTLE ROCK –
School superintendents now report that 61 percent of school districts in
School principals also report that 26 percent of vending items at schools are in a healthy category, up from 18 percent in the evaluation’s first survey four years ago.
With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the
“Act 1220 is working to create a healthier environment in schools across the state,” Raczynski said. “Parents, students, school personnel and communities are working together to help our children establish healthy habits at a young age – and we’re integrating these important lessons into our public school system.”
The current evaluation found the majority of parents continue to be aware of body mass index (BMI) measurements, express minimal concern about keeping results confidential and indicate comfort with receiving a BMI report from school.
The BMI measurement is used as a screening method to identify possible weight-related health problems, and is a key part of Act 1220 and state leaders’ efforts to reduce obesity levels that have become epidemic in
Public schools measure BMI for students in grades 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 each year, and send parents a confidential report including an explanation of potential obesity-related health risks and suggestions to help families improve nutrition and increase physical activity.
The health implications associated with obesity are serious, and this generation of children is being diagnosed with health problems previously seen only in adults. Obese children also are at greater risk than their normal-weight peers for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and orthopaedic problems.
The fourth-year evaluation revealed for the first time a trend among parents toward creating a healthier atmosphere at home, including limiting time in front of a television or video game screen to make more time for physical activity.
“This is the first year we’ve seen that both parents and children are turning off televisions and video games in favor of physical activity—and limiting chips, soda and sweets eaten at home,” Phillips said. “Not only are we creating a healthier school environment, with parents’ help we’re also starting to see changes in the home environment that complement and support state efforts in our public schools.”
The report also revealed that 72 percent of students increased physical activity, up 10 percent from the previous year’s study.
These most recent evaluation results come on the heels of a recent national study released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows no increase in the prevalence of obese children and teens between 1999-2000 and 2005-2006.
In addition, the
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,538 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and two dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.