Childhood obesity rates have nearly tripled in the past thirty years and continue to rise. This trend is a result of poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles with negative emotional and health consequences. As the greatest portion of a child's day is spent in school, we are in a strong position to positively impact our children's nutritional and physical activity habits. Richmond Public Schools is committed to improving these life-long habits in order for our students to realize their greatest academic and physical fitness potential.
The goals and purposes of this policy are to:
- Provide structure for schools to make positive changes that will increase and develop a framework for wellness.
- Offer recommendations and provide guidelines, at the district level, that will strengthen school nutrition and physical activity programs in Richmond Public Schools.
- Address the issues that underlie the soaring rates of overweight children and adolescents in our district.
- Provide our students with healthier food and beverage options and increase opportunities for physical activities.
- The development and adoption of this policy was mandated by the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 20041 . As required, this policy is established in accordance with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations and guidance, and existing Virginia regulations and guidance, as they apply to school nutrition programs. The guidelines are equally as restrictive as the state and federal school nutrition laws and will be modified in the event that new legislation is enacted.