West Virginia Board of Education Strengthens Nutrition Policy

October 18, 2004

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia students will have healthier food choices while at school thanks to a recent action by the West Virginia Board of Education. The Board ofEducation approved Policy 4321.1: Standards for School Nutrition during its monthly Board meeting on October 14, 2004.  

Policy 4321.1 establishes statewide standards and policies pertaining to foods and beverages served and/or sold to students in schools. Revisions require high schools, which sell soft drinks to students during the instructional day, to also sell nutritious beverages. In addition, elementary schools are required to delay food sales until after the last lunch period. This revised policy also recommends that nutritious food choices be offered whenever and wherever food is sold on school campuses during and outside the school day.  

“We are very concerned about the health of our students,” said Board President Barbara Fish. “The revision of Policy 4321.1 is only one part of the solution. The Board is encouraging principals to embrace the Recipe for Success initiative; a healthy student initiative that provides principals and other administrators with innovative ideas that will lead students to healthier lifestyles and improved chances for academic success. We also want parents to better understand that good eating habits and daily exercise begins in the home.”  

Data indicate that schools nationwide with high percentages of students who did not routinely eat well and engage in physical activity had smaller gains in test scores than other schools.  

“Our schools are in a unique position to improve students’ nutrition and assist in reversing what has become an epidemic of childhood obesity,” said Fish. “We want all students to perform at the highest levels, and the best way to do that is to teach them good nutrition and active lifestyles. Studies indicate that when a child enjoys a healthy lifestyle, he/she has improved chances for academic success.”  

For more information regarding Policy 4321.1: Standards for School Nutrition contact the Office of Child Nutrition at (304) 558-2709.