Nutrition and Physical Activity Education

Adopted February 2019 –  Health & Community Concerns Commission

California State PTA believes that good nutrition – an adequate, well balanced diet combined with regular physical activity – is a cornerstone of good health. Poor, or inadequate nutrition can lead to impaired immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, delayed and restricted physical growth, and restricted mental and social development.

California State PTA believes a quality physical activity program that operates cooperatively within the school’s comprehensive health program is essential to the well-being of the youth of California. Nutrition and regular physical activity are critical components of a full school curriculum. It is important that children be taught the relationship between good nutrition and good personal health so that they learn to choose foods and physical activities that foster a lifetime of healthful habits.

Research confirms the connection between good health, learning, and school attendance. Healthy children are:

  • more successful in school,
  • miss fewer days of school,
  • are more attentive and well-behaved, and
  • are more likely to graduate from high school and become successes in career and college.

California State PTA believes it is important to promote healthy lifestyles and positive changes in the diet and physical activity of our students. It is equally important that parents and children have access to the most up-to-date, science-based nutrition information available.

California State PTA supports actions by state and local governments and local educational agencies that provide for high-quality nutrition and physical activity programs for all children in schools.

PTA believes that:

  • Every school should have a certified teacher, trained and educated in physical activity and nutrition education;
  • The goal of physical activity and nutrition education should be to promote lifelong health and fitness habits in all students; and
  • All students must be treated equally in an integrated physical education class, as required by state law.

California State PTA believes that students, staff, parents, and the community can benefit from an understanding of the importance of good nutrition and physical activity education by encouraging and supporting:

  • Teacher training on comprehensive nutrition and physical activity education;
  • The development of nutrition standards, aligned with federal, state, and local laws and guidelines, that address all aspects of food and beverages available on campus to all students.
  • A comprehensive nutrition and physical activity curriculum component that provides students with the knowledge to make healthy choices throughout their lives;
  • Programs that provide nutrition and physical activity education for parents and the community;
  • Continued updating and dissemination of the recommended daily nutritional guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); and
  • School districts to make maximum use of state and federal funds available for food service programs so that all children may have access to nutritious meals.
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