The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is working to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015 and to inspire all young people in the United States to develop lifelong, healthy habits.
Kids can consume up to 50% of their daily calories at school. Nationally, 83% of elementary schools, 97% of middle/junior high schools, and 99% of high schools sell snacks and beverages outside of the federal school meals program through vending machines, school stores, or a la carte in the cafeteria. These “compete” with the school meals, which are required to meet specific nutritional guidelines.
The “Step Up for a Healthier School” Toolkit engages students and trains them to successfully implement change to the snacks and drinks in their schools in accordance with the Alliance School Beverage and Competitive Foods Guidelines. Through implementing Step Up for a Healthier School, students learn skills that transfer to other areas of their lives, in and out of school, including garnering peer input through surveys, developing action plans, collaborating with adults and mentors, evaluating efforts and publicizing successes. Having the toolkits produced on a large scale may help increase the serving and sale of more nutritious snacks and drinks, and/or implementation of one or more student-driven and health-promoting initiatives, all of which will help the Alliance achieve its goal of helping kids live longer, healthier lives.