Connect & Explore: Looking Back and Looking Forward: Nine Years of School District Wellness Policy Implementation

Since 2003, obesity rates among children in the United States have remained high, creating a new generation at risk for health problems later in life. Although reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity will require multisector solutions, changing the environment, particularly the school environment, is one way to promote change. Schools can potentially reduce the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic by offering nutritious meals and regular physical activity.

In 2004, Congress required school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program or other Child Nutrition Programs to implement wellness policies. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 continued this requirement and in July 2016 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) enacted regulations governing local wellness policy implementation under the HHFKA. For over 9 years, researchers at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago have annually compiled and evaluated wellness policies from school districts nationwide as part of Bridging the Gap and the National Wellness Policy Study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and, most recently, the USDA. Through school year 2014-15, they have evaluated over 5,000 district policies nationwide. This webinar will highlight progress and opportunities in district wellness policies as well as provide baseline data on the extent to which district policies align with the new federal wellness policy regulations.

This Connect & Explore webinar will give you the chance to hear from an internationally renowned researcher on this pressing issue. Learn how school district wellness policies impact the health of youth and how data and evaluation can lead to more opportunities for schools to offer healthy choices and environments.

Join us on Monday, October 24, at 2 p.m. ET, for the one-hour event to hear from our guest speaker:

  • Jamie F. Chriqui, PhD, MHS, is the Principal Investigator for the National Wellness Policy Study and is a professor in the Division of Health Policy and Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and she co-directs the Health Policy Center in the Institute for Health Research and Policy at UIC.

You must register to receive webinar access. The event is free but attendance is limited, so tell a friend and register today!

Please consider sharing this information on your social networks using the hashtag #ConnectExplore. We will also be live tweeting the event so be sure to follow the conversation at @NCCOR. For those who cannot attend, the webinar will be recorded and archived on

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