Healthy Choices: Our schools are getting healthier, CDC report says

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 - 2:56 pm

School districts in California and nationwide are getting better at providing healthy environments for students, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.

A survey sizing up state and district-level policies revealed, for instance, that the percentage of districts banning all tobacco use during any school-related activity increased from 46.7 percent in 2000 to 67.5 percent in 2012.

Going to the heart of the obesity epidemic, 93.6 percent of districts said elementary schools must teach physical education in 2012. That's up from 82.6 percent in the year 2000.

Fewer school districts allowed soft drink companies to advertise on school grounds -- 33.5 percent in 2012 compared to 46.6 percent in 2006.

And the percentage of districts that required schools to ban junk food from vending machines jumped from 29.8 percent in 2006 to 43.4 percent last year.

The CDC will drill down deeper next year, when surveys will be taken in individual schools and even on the classroom level. The 2014 results will be released in 2015.

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Read more articles by Cynthia H. Craft

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