Obesity causes or exacerbates numerous chronic diseases and conditions that can lead to death, including diabetes and hypertension. In an effort to address the obesity epidemic in Arkansas, the governor-led Healthy Active Arkansas (HAA) initiative was launched to provide a 10-year framework with phased goals to increase the percentage of Arkansans who are at a healthy weight. As part of this initiative and support by funding from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement convened five statewide learning network meetings to engage, recruit, and activate a network of local champions to assist in meeting these goals. This study, featuring Drew Central School District’s unique school-based nutrition and physical activity programs, is part of a series of case studies highlighting success stories from the HAA Statewide Learning Network.
Drew Central School District has taken many steps to move it’s schools in a healthier direction including:
- Emphasizing healthier options in school cafeterias by adding salad bars;
- Acquiring better playground equipment to enhance physical activity; and
- Developing an employee wellness challenge to increase the amount of physical activity for teachers and staff during school hours.