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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Yale Obesity Initiatives

School-based nutritional programs reduce student obesity
In-school nutrition policies and programs that promote healthier eating habits among middle school students limit increases in body mass index (BMI), a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds. The five-year trial, conducted in conjunction with the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut, followed nearly 600 students from 12 schools in New Haven.

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Household food insecurity is associated with bingeeating disorder and obesity
Skipping regular balanced meals or cutting back on food because of financial constraints can lead to binge-eating disorder and contribute to obesity, a Yale School of Public Health study finds. Ms. Grace Rasmusson and Dr. Marney White, of the Yale School of Public Health’s department of social and behavioral Sciences led the research team.
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New Haven Public Schools – Health for Achievement
Health for Achievement is a 5-year study supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that examines the impact of health on academic achievement. With its partners, the Community Alliance for Research Engagement (CARE) has examined school-based policy interventions – through the district’s School Wellness Policies – focused on improving nutrition and physical activity. CARE uses information collected from students, teachers, administrators and parents in 12 New Haven Public Schools to develop new policies and programs, raise awareness, and motivate positive health practices. Results have been disseminated locally and nationally, aiming to educate our communities and encourage better health for all students.

Through Health for Achievement, CARE has collected surveys and physical measures (height, weight, blood pressure, waist circumference) of more than 1,800 middle school students to examine their physical health, health behaviors, school and neighborhood environments. A randomized controlled trial in these 12 schools was conducted to support implementation of school wellness policies to improve the school health environment and reduce obesity and obesity-related risk factors among students across middle school (grades 5 through 8).

CARE has published 15 articles to date on this school-related research. This includes research on risk and protective factors for obesity and elevated blood pressure, use of the emergency room, smoking, bullying, breakfast consumption, sugar, sweetened beverages/ energy drinks, and the association between health and academic achievement. Full list of publications.

CARE is a New Haven-based organization that was established in 2007 at the Yale School of Public Health to serve low-income communities.