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Colorado Association
of School Executives

4101 S. Bannock Street
Englewood, CO 80110-4606
(303) 762-8762




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Healthy Schools

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Research and Publications

Looking for more in-depth research or data? You'll find it here. This page is divided into two sections. The first section contains recent national research on wellness.  The second section contains presentations, white papers, and scholarly articles related to wellness research. 

Recently Published Articles and Reports

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap, a research program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released a September 2010 study that shows school districts have gained some ground in improving their wellness policies but that too often these policies are weak. The study shows that guidelines for competitive foods and beverages are especially lax, and many don’t comply with federal mandates.

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being

Using statistical data from 22 federal agencies, the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics released in July 2010 a comprehensive report about the well-being of children and families throughout the nation since 1997, which shows critical trends over time that help readers better understand real needs within families. 

2009 Colorado Healthy Kids Colorado Survey

Every two years, the Colorado Department of Education conducts a statewide survey of Colorado teens that focuses on health and wellness issues – including teen pregnancy, obesity and violence. This survey is a combination of the National Youth at Risk Behavior Survey (see next entry) and the Colorado Youth Survey. The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey has been administered again in the Fall of 2011; the new report will be available in early 2012.

2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey data

 In June 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the 2009 national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey data that reveals both national and state-by-state data about student obesity, physical activity, drug use and more. Results from the 2011 YRBS study will be released in summer 2012.

Increasing Academic Achievement by Addressing Student Health

A California Endowment brief released in February 2010 describes how students’ health can impact their educational achievement and the steps policymakers can take to better address student health in schools. 


New Report Highlights Changes Needed to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in U.S. Elementary School

Report Highlights Changes Needed to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in US Elementary Schools. It's little or no surprise that a new report from the Bridging the Gap and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation discovered that  schools don't always provide healthy food for students, often serving soda and less nutritious food, and students are not getting the physical activity they need.

School Policies and Practices to Improve Health and Prevent Obesity: National Elementary School Survey Results

While childhood obesity has increased dramatically, contributing to health problems and decreased student performance, this report published in September 2010 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reveals that elementary schools across the nation continue to offer unhealthy choices and limited physical activity. Find out more about how to change policies in schools to help children eat healthier food and be more active.

School Policies and Practices to Improve Health and Prevent Obesity

National Secondary School Survey Results.  This study, released in May 2011, reveals that although there have been improvements in what is offered on the lunch line, schools participating in the National Lunch Program are still allowed to sell pizza, processed foods, and sugary drinks. In addition, physical activity - especially in intramural sports - still needs improvement. This study was conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

F as in Fat 2011: How the Obesity Crisis Threatens America

In July 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health published a new report examining obesity trends within the United States that describes the obesity problem and assesses federal, state and community policies.

F as in Fat 2010: How the Obesity Crisis Threatens America’s Future

In August 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health published a new report examining obesity trends within the United States that describes the obesity problem and assesses federal, state and community policies.

Promoting Healthy Communities and Preventing Childhood Obesity

Published in June 2010 by the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver, this report looks at policy-driven efforts to address childhood obesity in schools and at the state level, including obesity, school nutrition, nutrition education, diabetes screening at school and school wellness. 

Obesity Prevention Policies for Middle and High Schools: Are We Doing Enough?

A 2010 report from the National Association of State Boards of Education concludes that states and school districts have not widely adopted policies that could help middle and high school students be more active and eat healthier. The report notes that the need for physical activity and healthy eating does not decrease when a child enters adolescence. If anything, it increases.

Physical Education

2010 Shape of the Nation Report: Status of Physical Education in the USA

Released in July 2010 by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, this report shows little progress has been made to provide daily physical education to students in grades K-12. In fact, the report shows more schools are offering student waivers from PE classes and in turn, limiting any progress toward creating healthy learning environments.


The State of Play: Gallup Survey of Principals on School Recess

A February 2010 report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation describes findings from a survey of nationwide elementary school principals. The survey revealed that principals overwhelmingly believe recess has a positive impact not only on the development of students’ social skills, but also on achievement and learning. But the report notes that principals also say recess is a difficult time of day to manage and as a result, disciplinary issues arise that are counterproductive to learning.

Scholarly Research and In-Depth Articles


Behavior Change

Communicating and Changing Behaviors - Article

Other People's Habits - Article

Why and How People Change Behaviors - excerpt from book of the same name by Joseph Leutzinger, PhD, and John Harris, Med

Coordinated School Health

Coordinated School Health Background - Article

Colorado Coalition for Healthy Schools - Coordinated School Health Guide

Effectiveness of  School-Based Program on Body Composition and Behavior - Journal Article

Colorado Health Foundation 2010 Report Card

Summary of Selected Evidence-Based Research from Healthy Kids Learn Better and Making the Connection: Health and Student Achievement - White Paper

Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in School Reforms to Close the Achievement Gap - White Paper

Research Review: School-Based Health Interventions and Academic Achievement - White Paper

Using Coordinated School Health to Promote Mental Health for All Students

Employee Wellness

Business Costs in Smoke-Filled Environments - Article

Employer's Smoking Cessation Guide

Smoking and Absenteeism and Productivity - Journal Article

Employee Absence Management

Workplace Productivity Poll - White Paper

Presenteeism and Employee Health - Journal Article

Workplace Nutrition and Physical Activity - Article

Office Ergonomics

Exercise in the Workplace - Journal Article

Environment, Green Spaces, and Gardens

The Case for Community Greening Research Agenda - Report

School Conditions and Student Achievement - White Paper

National Gardening Association 2010 Annual Report

Assessing a Garden-based Curriculum for Elementary Youth in Iowa: Parental Perceptions of Change - Journal Article

Daylighting Impacts on Human Performance in Schools - Journal Article

The Effect of the National Wildlife Federation’s Schoolyard Habitat Program on Fourth Grade Students’ Standardized Test Scores - Journal Article

Impact of Home and Community Gardening in America - White Paper

Managing Asthma in the School Environment - White Paper

Parks and Other Green Environments: Essential Components of a Healthy Human Habitat - White Paper

School Indoor Air Quality Best Practices - White Paper 


Yoga, Meditation Program Helps City Youth Cope with Stress - Article

Mindful Kids, Peaceful Schools - Article

Neighborhood Disadvantage, Stressful Life Events and Adjustment in Urban Elementary School Children - Journal Article

Teaching Skills for Stress Control and Positive Thinking to Elementary School Children - Journal Article

CPPW and Tri County Health Department Presentation on Findings of 2010 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results - PowerPoint Presentation

Wake Up Australia: The Value of Healthy Sleep - Report

Happiness and Academic Achievement: Evidence for Reciprocal Causality - White Paper

Stress in Elementary Children - White Paper 

Nutrition and Food Culture

Eating in the 20th Century - Article

An Ounce of Prevention, A Pound of Cure - Article

Tracking a Century of American Eating - Article

Ecoliteracy Rethinking School Lunch - Guide

A Policy-Based School Intervention to Prevent Overweight and Obesity - Journal Article

Restricting Snacks in U.S. Elementary Schools Is Associated with Higher Frequency of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption - Journal Article

Strategies  for  Success:  Making  the  Most  of  the   New  School  Water  and  Milk  Requirements - Presentation

Institute of Medicine School Meals Recommendations 2011 - PowerPoint Presentation

CDC: Childrens Food Environment 2011 - Report

Impact of Food Prices on Obesity - Report

A Nation At Risk - Obesity in the United States - Report

Physical Activity

An Ounce of Prevention, A Pound of Cure - Article

Relationship Between Student Health and Learning - Article

CDE: Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Standards - Guide

Putting Physical Activity Where It Fits in the School Day: Preliminary Results of the ABC (Activity Bursts in the Classroom) for Fitness Program - Journal Article

School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior - Journal Article

Physical Education, School Physical Activity, School Sports and Academic Performance - Journal Article

Relation of Academic Performance to Physical Activity in Children - Journal Article

A Nation At Risk - Obesity in the United States - Report

Active Education - Physical Education, Physical Activity, and Academic Performance - White Paper

CDC: The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance - White Paper

Childhood Overweight and Academic Performance: National Study of Kindergartners and First-Graders

Stability Balls and Behavior - White Paper


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