Role of Public Schools | Governor's
Scorecard | School Breakfasts
In the past two decades, the number of overweight children
nationwide has nearly doubled, while the number of overweight teens has
tripled. In Virginia, more than 1 in 3 people diagnosed as obese each
year are children.
Want more disturbing stats? More than a third of
young people in grades 9–12
do not regularly engage in vigorous physical activity. Chronic diseases
such as hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, once thought to affect only
adults, are now showing up in overweight children as young as 8 years.
And an overweight child now has a 70% chance of being overweight as an
These frightening trends result from poor nutrition and a lack of regular
An Important Role for Public Schools
The Healthy Virginians initiative was launched in part because
schools must play an active role in addressing this epidemic. Creating
a healthy school environment, one where learning is supported by good
nutrition and increased physical activity, is essential to the success
of Virginia’s students.
Healthy Virginians tackles these issues with two programs aimed at fostering
better nutritional and physical environments for students.
Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard
The Governor's Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard recognizes
and rewards schools for encouraging healthy habits. The Web-based Scorecard
application allows schools to compete locally and on a statewide level
to see which school is healthiest. Points are awarded according to
their implementation of best practices, including:
- Providing a minimum of 30 minutes daily recess that promotes physical
- Encouraging middle and high school students to design their own individualized
- Creating school- and community-based Fitness or Nutrition Nights;
- Allowing only foods which meet minimum nutritional standards to be
provided or sold during the school day; and
- Selling only 100% fruit juice, water, or low-fat milk.
Schools earn points by completing the scorecard and – if their scores
qualify them – they receive a Gold, Silver, or Bronze award for
exemplary health practices.
School Breakfast Funding
We all want to see Virginia’s children get their day off to a
healthy start. One avenue for helping make this a reality is to expand
Virginia's participation in the School Breakfast program.