Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
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Web Links

National, Government

Action For Healthy Kids (AFHK)

The aim of AFHK is to improve children’s eating habits and increase their physical activity in schools through national and state-level efforts. The website has a section on “Resources to Improve Schools”, which contains a drop-down menu of many topics to help teachers, school administrators, and parents to take action in implementing healthy school programs and policies. Topics include (but are not limited to) nutrition education, physical activity, vending/snacks, advertising in schools, fundraising, childhood obesity, community outreach, and after school programs. Each topic contains multiple resources such as handouts, pamphlets, toolkits, brochures, reports, and documents, many of which are in PDF format and can be downloaded. There are also blueprints available for changing policies and evaluations and profiles of existing school based programs.

CDC Healthy Youth! Making it Happen: School Nutrition Success Stories

This website summarizes a range of approaches that schools have taken to improve student nutrition. Case studies show that students will buy and consume healthful foods and beverages, and that schools can make money from these options. The website outlines six approaches to improve student nutrition: establishing nutrition standards for competitive foods, influencing food/beverage contracts, increasing availability of healthy foods, adopting marketing techniques, limiting access to competitive foods, and school fundraising and rewards. Each approach is described in a report and includes case studies of school programs. The entire report, an executive summary, or selected approaches, can be downloaded in PDF format. The second website listed above provides information on childhood nutrition and obesity, and provides links to data and statistics, science-based strategies to improve nutrition, information on existing programs (including registries and program evaluation), and various publications and references, all of which can be downloaded.

CDC Healthy Youth / School Health Index

Funding Sources: Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The School Health Index website provides a self-assessment tool and planning guide for elementary and high schools that allow you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your school’s policies and programs for promoting health, develop an action plan for improving student health, and involve teachers, parents, students, and the community in improving school policies and programs. Different modules allow you to assess the extent to which your school implements the kinds of policies and practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its research-based guidelines for nutrition services and physical education. Following this self-assessment, there are guidelines and instructions on how to implement a School Health Improvement Plan. In addition, the website provides various resources on nutrition and physical activity including data and statistics, science-based strategies, information on national and state programs, publications, and references. The School Health Index materials can be downloaded or ordered at no cost.

Healthy School Nutrition Environment Resource List

This online PDF document lists numerous online resources to assist schools to promote nutrition and physical activity in children. It covers a range of categories including competitive foods in schools, healthy eating and physical activity handouts for parents, healthy school meals, nutrition education, nutrition information, physical activity, promoting healthy weight in children, school policies, and nutrition/physical activity legislation. This list is updated regularly and offers current links that will be of interest to educators, school officials, and parents.

Healthy Youth! Make a Difference at Your School

This website is sponsored by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. It offers advice for how to make school environments healthier.


National, Non-Government

American Public Health Association (APHA): Toolkit for Obesity Prevention

This site represents a subsection of APHA’s home webpage, which focuses on obesity intervention which was the theme of the 2003 National Public Health Week. As part of this 2003 initiative, APHA created a toolkit for obesity intervention that includes media and legislative advocacy materials, such as sample letters to public officials, talking points for meetings, and telephone/radio scripts. The toolkit can be downloaded on this site at no cost. In addition, the website provides links to government resources and materials for parents and teachers, as well as links to fact sheets on obesity, nutrition, school foods and meal programs. The website also outlines “tools for action” against overweight and obesity, which includes links to sample policies that encourage healthy eating and activity in schools, guides to community action, and listserves to promote healthy nutrition environments in schools.

Center for Science in the Public Interest “School Foods Tool Kit: A Guide to Improving School Foods & Beverages”

CSPI’s School Foods Tool Kit is divided into 3 parts: The first section includes strategies for improving school foods and beverages, background materials, fact sheets on children's diets and health, school meal programs, and vending and other school food venues. Also included are techniques to implement changes in schools, with guidance and model materials for communicating with decision makers, the press, and other community members. The second section provides model legislation, sample letters, and a list of online resources. The third section provides examples of successful case studies of healthy school changes, including descriptions and contact information for individuals, organizations, and states working to improve the nutritional quality of school foods and beverages. This tool kit can be downloaded online at no cost. Hard copies are available to order for $10.

Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition: The Obesity Prevention Source
The Obesity Prevention Source is an in-depth resource for all who seek to understand the causes of obesity and reverse the epidemic of obesity in children and adults. Policy and environmental changes are the foundation of obesity prevention. The goal is to inform and empower people with science-based information about what can and must be done to prevent adult and childhood obesity; to help those who are overweight achieve a healthier weight; and ultimately, to turn back the obesity epidemic’s global spread. The website contains information on families, early child care, and schools.

Prevention Institute: Communities Taking Action: Profiles of Health Equity
Communities Taking Action is a collection of profiles that showcase successful community initiatives aimed at improving health equity, including food and activity. Promoting just and equitable health outcomes require social, cultural and physical environments that prevent illness and injury in the first place and a commitment to promoting racial and social justice. The profiles demonstrate how strong leadership, community engagement and advocacy, innovative thinking and changes in local policies and institutional practices can successfully converge to shape healthier, more equitable community environments.


State, Government

Connecticut State Department of Education

The Connecticut State Department of Education recently published the Action Guide for School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies (February 2006). This Action Guide provides comprehensive guidance for school districts on developing and implementing local policies to promote healthy eating and physical activity. It will assist school districts with meeting recommended state (Connecticut) and national guidelines and the School Wellness Policy requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Public Law 108-265. The Action Guide was reviewed by a committee representing 21 health and education organizations in Connecticut and was adopted by the Connecticut State Board of Education on January 11, 2006.

The Action Guide for School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies
The guide translates research-based policy development concepts and models into real-life strategies that work at the local level, based on the experience of 10 Connecticut pilot school districts. It is intended to guide local school districts in establishing and implementing policies and practices that promote students’ improved nutrition and increased physical activity; encourage families to support and participate in programs and initiatives that are intended to improve their children’s health; and encourage schools to collaborate with community organizations to provide consistent health messages and to support school-based activities that promote healthy eating and physical activity.