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Geographic Differences in Physical Education and Adolescent BMI: Have Legal Mandates Made a Difference?

The Journal of school nursing : the official publication of the National Association of School Nurses | 21 Jul 2012

LM Anderson, KE Aycock, CA Mihalic, DJ Kozlowski and AM Detschner
The school environment is an ideal setting for healthy weight programming with adolescents. The federal government has reinforced the importance of school-based health promotion. The current study examined the preliminary influence of the 2006 school wellness policy requirement of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act (CNWICRA) on adolescent Body Mass Index (BMI) and physical education participation. Nationally representative data from the 2003 and 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS) were used. The authors examined BMI percentile and physical education participation based on survey year and geographic region. Results suggest a slight decrease in BMI with no changes in physical education participation. A main effect for geographic region was found for both physical education participation and BMI percentile, while a geographic region-by-survey year interaction was discovered when analyzing BMI percentiles. Results suggest a need for continued investigation and may inform future healthy weight programming and geographically tailored wellness policies.
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Nursing, Health, Federal government of the United States, Regional geography, Mass, Geography, Nutrition, Body mass index
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