CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia has been singled out by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for its progressive child nutrition standards and outreach efforts.
West Virginia Board of Education Policy 4321.1: Standards for School Nutrition is posted on the CDC's partner website at the Center for Excellence for Training and Research website at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (http://www.center-trt.org) as an example for other school systems across the country. The West Virginia standards are described on the website as “a practice-tested policy with a primary focus on improving the school food environment through changes in school district policies and practices.”
West Virginia’s plan is noted for its design to improve the nutritional quality of foods available in schools and reduce marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to students.
“Whether it’s physical activity, proper nutrition or health education, the West Virginia Department of Education is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for our students in public schools and we intend to continue to place greater emphasis on nutrition, health and physical fitness,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “I’m glad the CDC has recognized the steps we are taking in West Virginia. The bottom line is healthy students have a greater capacity to learn and are ultimately more successful in school and life.”
Strong nutrition and wellness programs are especially important in a state like West Virginia, where one in three children born today will likely develop diabetes by the time they grow up. Alarmingly, nearly 85,000 of West Virginia K-12 students are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. The state is consistently among the top three states for obesity with about a third of its residents considered obese and more considered overweight, according to the state Bureau of Public Health.
For more information, contact the Office of Child Nutrition at 304-558-2709 or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.