Youth obesity in King County in Washington dropped from 9.5 percent to 7.9 percent after a 2-year intervention geared at middle and high school students. The public health experiment took place in several low-income school districts in the county, while others served as control groups and saw no decline.
What did educators and students do? Here are some examples:
- In Auburn, over 6,000 students started tracking their nutrition and physical activity over time.
- Seattle Public Schools established a model physical education program, replacing old equipment and supplies with stuff that actually worked.
- Highline Schools promoted nutritious eating by involving students in the marketing of healthful fare to 11,000 of their peers. That’s a clever approach, as any adult who tries to convince a teen to stop gulping down Mountain-Dew will attest.
Funding for the program was provided by the US Department of Health.