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This week’s healthy schools highlights

Boys drink more sugary beverages than girls, survey shows

There’s been a lot of attention in recent years to soda and other drinks sweetened with sugar. Schools have banned vending machines selling soda and other sugary drinks. Some advocates have urged that the drinks be taxed to discourage their consumption as a way of fighting the obesity epidemic. But how much of this stuff do Americans really drink? Read more in this Washington Post blog.

Parents may underestimate risk of childhood obesity

More than one in six American children and teens are obese, but a new poll suggests that parents and doctors don’t always see eye-to-eye on the seriousness of the obesity epidemic. According to the new report, only about half of parents believe it is “very important” to seek medical care for an overweight child. Read more at LiveScience.

LiveWell Colorado to debut Weigh and Win kiosk

ALAMOSA — A new program in Alamosa promises to reward San Luis Valley residents with cash incentives for achieving healthier lifestyles. Weigh and Win is the nation’s first community-wide program offering cash rewards and prizes to individuals who achieve or maintain a healthy weight. Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, Weigh and Win is available for free to all Colorado residents over the age of 18. The program opened up in the Front Range in March of this year and to date over 4,800 people have signed up and more than 7,200 pounds have been lost. Read all about it in the Alamosa News.

Is your child a victim of lunchbox bullying?

Your child opens up his lunchbox and takes out the food you so lovingly pulled together that morning. It’s chana masala or falafel or pork buns or kimchi — the cuisine of your family’s culture. Your child’s schoolmates, who brought cheese sandwiches and fruit roll-ups for their lunches, take one look at his home-cooked meal:

“Ew, that smells weird.”

“What’s that? It looks yucky.”

“Your lunch is gross.”

Read more at the Huffington Post.

Do school soda bans curb obesity in kids?

(CBS) Has the time come for school districts across the nation to just say no to sugary drinks?

That’s what some experts are saying in light of new research suggesting that Boston’s controversial ban on sugar-sweetened beverages has succeeded in limiting kids’ consumption of soft drinks and sports beverages – which have been identified as major contributors to the nation’s epidemic of childhood obesity. Watch this CBS News report.

District 11 ditches chocolate milk

Watch this video of the Colorado Springs District 11 superintendent defending the district’s decision to eliminate chocolate milk from school lunch offerings.

Get In The Action for Kids comes to DPS

Action for Healthy Kids is launching its national service initiative, Get in the Action, in Denver this September to help schools become healthier places for students to learn.  Bringing this program to DPS will impact 80,000 students through the education of children, parents, teachers and staff.

Here are the schools that are participating and when the kick-off event will be held:

  • Schmitt Elementary – Sept. 9
  • Asbury Elementary – Sept. 15
  • Denver Language School – Sept. 26
  • Brown International School – Sept. 30

The majority of students at these schools receive free or reduced lunches each day.  These activities will be integrated with the school’s wellness fair or carnival so the school can promote the community resources available to their families. This will help to sustain the change.

To ensure the success of these events, it is necessary that the community become involved –  parents, grandparents, teachers, neighbors and local businesses. Some 200 volunteers are needed to:

  • Implement a new salad bar
  • Provide healthy lifestyle face-lifts in the cafeterias with signs, piñatas, and painted murals.
  • Provide the schools with the Action for Healthy Kids ReCharge! program
  • Implement Action for Healthy Kids GameOn! movement challenges using the JAM program
  • Provide fresh fruit, vegetable and whole grain taste testing
  • Install motivating signage on the new school running tracks and learning landscapes
  • Clean up the school garden, playground, or field
  • And most fun of all… host a concert from Denver’s own Jammin’ Jr and the Jammonites whose music promote healthy eating, physical activity and character building.

Register as a volunteer:  http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/get-in-the-action/2011-registration/denver.html

Los Angeles schools launch ‘I’m In’ school lunch program

STUDIO CITY (CBS) — Los Angeles County Unified School District’s lunch menu is undergoing a makeover.

David Binkle, the district’s Deputy Director of Food Services and chef by trade and Chef Mark Baida, visited KCAL 9 on Wednesday afternoon to talk about the new “I’m In” healthy school menu. Check out this CBS report.


About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.