Study Shows Overwhelming Parent Support for Healthier Schools

November 16, 2009

By Rochelle Davis, Founding Executive Director

The recent survey by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation confirms our experience: that parents understand the connection between learning, health and the school environment, and they want schools to promote healthy eating and physical activity.

Among the key findings from the online survey of 600 parents with children in grades K-12:

  • Parents nearly unanimously agree (98 percent) that their child’s school should offer opportunities for physical activity throughout the day, whether through P.E., activity breaks or recess and after school programs.
  • Almost as many parents (96 percent) agree that their child’s school should limit access to unhealthy snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • About two-thirds of parents (63 percent) believe schools play a major role in instilling healthy habits in students.
  • Four-fifths of parents have undertaken one or more health-related activities or advocacy efforts in their local schools. Those include bringing nutritious foods to school parties or other events and pushing for healthier lunch menus or expanded health education for students.

Healthy Schools Campaign’s Parents United for Healthy Schools has hundreds of parents involved in organizing wellness teams and working to promote healthy eating and physical activity. In fact, two parent leaders, Jovita Flores and Rosa Guzman, have been recognized by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation for their outstanding leadership and are featured in its new book, Be Well: Messages from Moms on Living Healthier Lives. Congratulations to Jovita and Rosa!  And many congratulations and thanks to all the parents across the country who are working to promote health and wellness in schools.

Parents-exercising

Parents try out a healthy physical activity break at a Parents United for Healthy Schools summit