Tag Archives: public school

Chicago Schools Make Positive Cafeteria Changes

Have you been watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution or reading the Mystery School Lunch blog? Are you wondering if changing the menu at your kids school is too difficult to even try. Do you feel like there’s no hope?

One city in America has made drastic changes in the menu plan for the next school year, which begins July 1. The  documents originally released to the Chicago Tribune show that nacho service will be reduced to once a week in Chicago high schools, and once a month in elementary schools; sweet packaged desserts will also be reduced to weekly treats; and donuts and Pop-Tarts will be eliminated in the new school year.

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Wii Fit Replaces Gym Class In Texas

Remember the days when gym class meant simply running around or playing in groups whether it be a round of basketball, dodge ball, wiffle ball or even baseball? Most kids live for these outlets to give them a break from math or history class and kids just like to move and be active. With all that said I was really surprised when I learned that two Texas schools were going to start instituting the Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit to promote health and physical activity.

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to try the Wii Fit, you can read our Wii Fit review along with a follow-up article on the reality of the Wii Fit, once we all made it past the initial hype.

The idea of having the Wii Fit at home in your living room to encourage kids to get off the couch and be more active and engaged is great. On the other hand, using this system at school can actually inhibit the amount of exercise students would otherwise normally get due to the physical activity associated with the Wii Fit being somewhat limited. Students don’t need the Wii to learn how to do a push-up or sit-up the good old-fashioned way; kids running and jumping and interacting together and not with a machine is best. (more…)

Fast Food too Close to Schools

teen-eating-french-friesWhere there are fast-food restaurants, you will likely find obese people. And that’s just as true for kids who have them close to their schools. If logic isn’t enough, a study has confirmed it.

A new report has found there to be an increased obesity rate of at least 5.2 percent among teenagers at schools where fast-food outlets were a tenth of a mile or less away. That’s only about one city block, so it’s believable that the kids would partake in a little take-out.

Eric N. Gioia, a city councilman from Queens, New York. wants to stop fast-food restaurants from opening so close to the city’s schools. (more…)

Fat Report Cards Issued to Massachusetts School Children

school-girlMassachusetts took a major step forward today in the fight against childhood obesity by unanimously voting to screen children in the state’s public schools for obesity. A record of a child’s BMI will be sent home to parents, nicknamed the “fat report card.”

In Fall 2009 the screenings will begin, and students in grades 1, 4, 7 and 10 will be tested. Parents will have the option to opt-out. In addition to the BMI (Body Mass Index), which is a standardized method of determining how under or over weight a person is, the report card will also share ways in which parents can help their child’s weight and encourage parents to meet with a pediatrician. (more…)

Physical Fitness Makes for Better Students

According to a study released by the Texas Education Agency, students who are physically fit are less likely to have disciplinary problems and more likely to do well in their academics.

The study was based on the annual physical fitness assessments of more than 2.4 million students in the Texas public school system. It found that an increase in exercise enhanced the students’ ability to learn. The evidence came in the form of higher scores by physically fit children on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

As might be expected, attendance rates were higher for students who were physically fit. Also, the study found that fitness levels dropped with each passing grade level. Elementary-age children performed the best while high school had the lowest percentage of physically fit students. (more…)